Multi-stakeholder collaboration the way forward for suicide prevention – Min Anthony

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony

As we continue to observe World Suicide Prevention Day, Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony is calling on all Guyanese to take a pause and reflect on all the persons who would have passed from committing suicide.

The Minister reminded that the main cause of suicide is depression and urged that attention be paid to one another and reach out to those who may be suffering from various problems.

“It is something that we still need to pay attention to and it is something that all of us need to focus on…We need to do more; we need to get our communities involved. When we see someone, who is having problems coping for various things in our society; to be able to reach out to that person and to offer them counseling and guidance and we need to ensure that systems are in place to assists these persons,” Dr. Anthony conveyed.

Noting that Guyana was once among countries with a high suicide rate, he said that the Ministry is working to continue to eradicate suicide locally and plans to roll out more strategies in working toward this goal.

He also charged Guyanese to,

“light a candle, do something; not just in remembrance of those persons who would have committed suicide. But also, that we can make that silent pledge of what we can do to prevent other persons or prevent future cases of suicide.”

The way to spark change is cooperation and as such the Health Minister is asking persons at the community level and in organizations to get involved and offer counseling and guidance.

“We by ourselves cannot do this alone we will have to get more partners involved…We can do this if we work together as a team whether we are in Government or in the Private Sector or a non-governmental organization. If we pool our efforts, we can change the dynamics of suicide prevention in Guyana. I look forward to working with you, the Ministry of Health looks forward to working with you, as we work to this noble goal of preventing suicide in our country.”

According to Dr. Anthony, Guyana loses approximately one hundred and twenty lives to suicide each year.