GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Apr 18 2017 – The Ministry of Public Health’s Mental Health Unit will be forging ahead with programmes through collaboration with key government ministries to further combat suicide.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared that Guyana is no longer the suicide capital of the world, but there is still the need to tackle the high rates of suicide locally.
Director of the Mental Health Unit, Dr Util Richmond-Thomas says each of the government ministries that will be involved in the collaborative effort will contribute in the joint fight to end suicide by spreading awareness.
The Education Ministry will incorporate mental health topics into the Health and Family Life Education (HFLE) syllabus in secondary schools. This aspect is pending the approval of the Ministry of Education before being rolled out shortly.
“Our young people, we would have to give them the coping skills that they need to have a productive lifestyle. We have to educate them about mental illnesses and different kinds of topics that have to do with mental health. We are ready and waiting to go into the schools and use whatever time they would allocate to us, but so far we haven’t gotten the permission yet,” Dr. Richmond-Thomas explained.
Guyana now has the fourth highest suicide rate in the world with an estimated 29.0 per 100,000.
Over the last five years, there has been an upsurge in the number of reported cases of suicide in comparison with the number of attempted cases. The Ministries of Agriculture, Education and Social Protection are all expected to play important roles in spreading awareness to targeted groups countrywide.
The WHO has established that suicide is the leading cause of death among young persons between the ages of 15-29 years old, globally.
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