GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Mar 10, CMC – Guyana health officials say there has been a significantly decline in the number of suicides in region Three and attributes the success to the collaborative efforts of several organisations.
Regional Executive Officer (REO), Denis Jaikaran said that while there is more need for collaboration on the issue, 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 – Essequibo Islands, West Demerara is a region of Guyana, split in two by the Essequibo River – is among two other regions with the largest prevalence of suicide with 113.6 per 100,000 population.
In recent years, Region Three accounted for 25.6 per cent of the attempted suicide cases in the country.
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.
Jaikaran noted that based on the region’s statistics on the suicide rates, the organisations have been able to identify several persons in need of help.
‘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 said, adding that 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.
Most persons who committed suicide ingested Gramoxone, a non-selective herbicide that is used by farmers.
Jaikaran said 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.
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.