Collaborative efforts result in reduced suicide rate in Region Three

GINA, GUYANA, Thursday, March 9, 2017

Region Three’s suicide rate has been significantly reduced through the collaborative efforts of several organisations, according to the Regional Executive Officer (REO), Denis Jaikaran.

The Region Three REO told the Government Information Agency (GINA), that there is more need for collaboration on the issue; however all the stakeholders involved  are working towards reducing teen suicide, since the country is considered to have the highest suicide rate in the Americas.

Region Three is among two other regions with the largest prevalence of suicide with 113.6 per 100,000 population. It was reported that over the past recent years, Region Three accounted for 25.6 per cent of the attempted suicide cases in the country. Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr Karen Cummings offered the statistics during a presentation to the National Assembly on suicide prevention and awareness in 2016.

Region Three, Regional Executive Officer (REO) Denis Jaikaran

Jaikaran noted that based on the region’s statistics on the suicide rates; they are able to scope out different persons. “We are trying in this region at different levels with the churches, schools, youth groups, police and any other organisations that accommodate the youths,” Jaikaran explained.

There are plans to spread suicide prevention awareness by placing posters at strategic points within the region to promote awareness against committing suicide.

“We want to coordinate with the Department of Education and youth groups, so we can hold a number of seminars and workshops, and there will also be a number of role plays in this case, not saying to them or giving to them, but role plays to bring out how it is that we, (Region Three Administration) can prevent suicide,” Jaikaran said.

It was reported that most persons who committed suicide ingested Gramoxone, a non-selective herbicide that is used by millions of growers. It is used in approximately 100 countries on more than 100 crops.

The Region Three REO added that the Administration hopes to create a partnership with the parents through the Parent Teachers’ Association (PTA) to assist in addressing their children’s behaviour, and how to address suicide. Singh highlighted that, “we are also planning to do a number of marches on the road against suicide and in support of life and good living which might help.”

The Region Three administration will also be coordinating with the Ministries of Public Health, Education, and other youth organisations to continue in their cause to reduce the suicide rates in the region.

Statistics from the Ministry of Public Health have shown that, during 2003-2007, there were 946 reported suicide deaths in Guyana amongst young persons between ages 15 to 24.  During that period, Region Six consisted of the highest numbers of suicides followed by Region Two, while Region Three had the third highest rate, followed closely by Region Five, and Region Four.

Last year, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and other government officials attended “Voices against Violence Candlelight Vigil” organised by the Anna Catherina Islamic Complex (ACIC) in collaboration with the Caribbean Voice (TCV) to send a strong message against domestic violence, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse.

The Prime Minister said that, “there is no one cause of suicide, suicide is sometimes done for the most pathetic reasons. I have had suicide in my family, one committed suicide for the sake of love. There is no such thing as love suicide, it is death and not love and even if you play around and if you play around or fool around, you can do that with any other thing, not your life.”

By: Neola Damon