Guyana joined the rest of the world today in observing World Suicide prevention Day.
In a message, Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence, said although the suicide rate in Guyana remains high, it has reduced over the years.
She explained that four years ago, Guyana’s suicide rate stood at 44.2 for every 100,000 people. That number has now fallen to 24.6 for every 100,000 people.
In her message, Minister Lawrence said there is a need for more co-operative work to be done to take on that problem.
“By working together as a team, Guyana was able to reduce the number of suicides and we have plans that I am sure, will cause the figure to fall further. Among our menu of measures, we have begun gathering vital information on the kinds of problems that help trigger suicidal thoughts, which push persons to take their own lives”, Minister Lawrence said.
She added that the Public Health Ministry will be rolling out a number of programmes that will target those persons who might be in a depressed state.
A self harm surveillance project is to be launched at hospitals across the country.
According to Ms. Lawrence, “while the task ahead of us appears very daunting, we cannot flinch from our collective responsibility. We cannot afford to become discouraged by its weight, demoralized by the journey or disheartened by the sacrifices demanded, from each other to reach this goal”.
The Health Minister said there can be no letting up in the efforts to tackle the suicide problem in Guyana.