Student suicide: School officials “tried their best”, officials urge stakeholders to be mindful of “blame game”



The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security (MHSSS) and its Childcare & Protection Agency (CPA) are saddened at the recent death of Sarah Narine, a teenager by suicide.

It is indeed an unfortunate occurrence, and it must be investigated by the relevant authorities. In this case, it involves a minor, and as such, the Ministry and CPA initiated an investigation in collaboration with the Guyana Police Force (GPF).

The CPA will share all its findings with the GPF, which has to give the definitive pronouncement on the cause of death and investigation.

Suicide is not the way out. It is an unfortunate choice that some resort to, to escape situations / emotions they cannot handle. People who commit suicide should not be judged, as this act is a deep cry for help and may be seen by them as their only way out.

This kind of loss is especially hard on the survivors, who may be haunted with the thoughts of “could this have been prevented?” or “did I miss the signs?” Questions they may never get answered, and they hurt from loss that will never go away.

CPA has concluded its investigation after speaking with school staff, students and parents. From reports there was an issue at the school involving the child that required special skills and guidance to deal with the matter. The persons at the school, at the time, apparently tried their best that they knew in the situation.

CPA Director Ann Greene also met with the parents of the child, had an in-depth discussion with them and offered CPA and the Ministry’s support as they face this difficult loss.

Cognizant that the survivors (family members, classmates and friends) may be experiencing an overwhelming number of complicated emotions, and need support and encouragement, the Ministry of Human Services and CPA have committed to providing the emotional support and intense counselling required by the survivors.

There are many factors that can influence a person’s decision to commit suicide, and we are encouraging all involved to be mindful of the “blame game”, since this would not change what has occurred and has the potential to fuel further damage.

This is a life gone too soon, and understandably, the survivors (her loved ones, fellow students and teachers) are dealing with the trauma of such a loss. What is needed now is compassion for the survivors.

There is definitely a clear need for more trained Counsellors to be readily available to students.

We extend our deepest condolences to the parents, family and friends of Sarah Narine. Ministry of Human Services and Social Security will partner with all other stakeholders and add our efforts to have more counselling and support services available across the board for all those who need them.