The hotline is set for official launching on Thursday, August 06 at the Police Officers’ Training Centre, Camp Road, Georgetown.
There have been numerous calls from civil society for such a program to be launched given the high incidence of suicide in Guyana. Currently, only 28 countries are known to have national suicide prevention strategies.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) in its first global report on suicide prevention in 2014, revealed that Guyana is the country with the highest estimated suicide rate for 2012 globally with Suriname ranking as the sixth highest.
According to the report, “Suicide rates in this Region show a first peak among the young, remain at the same level for other age groups and rise again in elderly men. In high-income countries, hanging accounts for 50% of suicides, and firearms are the second most common method, accounting for 18% of suicides.”
The WHO further noted that the relatively high proportion of suicides by firearms in high-income countries is primarily driven by high-income countries in the Americas where firearms account for 46% of all suicides; in other high-income countries firearms account for only 4.5% of all suicides.
The report stated more than 800, 000 people die by suicide every year – around one person every 40 seconds. Some 75% of suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries.
Pesticide poisoning, hanging and firearms are among the most common methods of suicide globally. Evidence from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the United States and a number of European countries reveals that limiting access to these means can help prevent people dying by suicide.