Saturday, January 18, 2014
The Guyana government says a multi-sectoral approach is needed to deal with the number of suicides in the country after 20 persons have committed suicide since the start of this new year. There are also several others recovering from failed attempts.
After meeting with Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shamdeo Persaud and chief psychiatrist Bhiro Harry to discuss the issue of mental health, Health Minister, Dr. Bheri Ramsaran stated that suicide is not only a mental health problem, but a cultural one as well. He also stated that the Health Ministry would be working closely with various other government ministries and other stakeholders in a bid to reduce the high suicide rate. Dr. Persaud said the Ministry of Health was strengthening the "Gate Keepers Programme" to build capacity among faith-based organizations and other with emphasis placed on suicide-prone communities. The Gate Keepers Programme was established by former health minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy.
Among the deceased are Toneisha Edwards, 19, a student of the University of Guyana, 15 year old Leah Grant of the Brickdam Secondary School and Nanadranie Oudit,32, all of who ingested poisonous substances. Oudit committed suicide 5weeks after her 16 year old son, a third year secondary school student, killed himself over a sour love affair while Grant died at the public hospital after ingesting the substance at school.