By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Alliance for Change Parliamentarian, Cathy Hughes says there is need for an urgent national “think-tank” to address suicide.
At a news conference on Thursday, October 16, Hughes pointed out that Guyana has the highest global rate, four times the global average and there is no indication of efforts to reverse this trend.
She noted that it is clear that young people especially, are not being taught the skills needed to deal with many of life’s challenges.
“There are the numerous incidents of murder/suicide where again, a lot of our young people experiencing difficulties in their relationships, resort to killing their partner then taking their own lives,” Hughes said.
According to her, given the fact that the issue has reached epidemic level, the AFC is urging that as a matter of priority, a team of experts be pulled together to analyse the situation so that a comprehensive strategy to address the situation can be implemented.
“This is not a political issue or one confined to a particular ethnic group. Its impact will affect us as a nation. How can we speak of growth and development when our people are ill equipped to face life challenges? We need to place more attention on the mental health and well being of our people. There must be centres or some mechanism where adolescents are taught life skills, where persons who experienced emotional trauma can go for help, our teachers, sports coaches, religious leaders and others must be taught to recognise early signs suicidal tendencies.”
The problem of suicide cannot be left unattended, she said.