Guyana records a suicide every 36 hours, according to a recent overview of current statistics.
State Minister Joseph Harmon relayed this information to the media last Wednesday as he expressed the government’s concern over situation.
“There is roughly one suicide every day and a half in Guyana,” Harmon said, as he also drew attention to Guyana’s reputation on the world stage.
The country is reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to have the highest rate of suicide per capita in the world.
Suicide is among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-44 years, and the second leading cause of death in the 10-24 age group.
These figures do not include attempts, which are approximated to be 20-25 cases for every death by suicide in the country.
At the close of 2015 and the commencement of 2016 there was a worrying increase in the number of reported suicide and attempted suicide cases.
Mr. Harmon said the government was concerned by this development and is taking action to correct the situation.
Earlier this month, President David Granger convened an emergency meeting with the Minister of Health, Dr. George Norton and several other Ministers to discuss rising spate of suicides, particularly among the nations’ youths.
There was also a meeting between key government Ministers and other stakeholders including PAHO WHO, UNICEF, the Pesticide and Toxic Chemicals Control Board on the establishment of a emergency national suicide prevention plan to address the needs of vulnerable groups. There is currently a 2015 – 2020 plan but Guyana still recorded 89 cases of suicides in 2015.
There have been well over 10 suicides already for 2016.