Collaboration reduces suicide rate in one region of Guyana

suicide prevention walk (1).jpg

A post by Peter Jordens.

RepeatingIslands has dedicated attention to suicide in the Caribbean on several occasions, such as How Guyana is trying to combat its high suicide rate, Two Caribbean countries in world’s top ten suicide list and Guyana has the highest suicide rate in the Caribbean.

On the positive side, the Government Information Agency (GINA) of Guyana recently reported that collaborative efforts are resulting in a reduced suicide rate in Region Three, also known as Essequibo Islands-West Demerara, a region in northern Guyana. Here are excerpts.

Region Three’s suicide rate has been significantly reduced through the collaborative efforts of several organisations, according to the Regional Executive Officer (REO), Denis Jaikaran. […] Region Three is among two other regions with the largest prevalence of suicide with 113.6 per 100,000 population. It was reported that over the past recent years, Region Three accounted for 25.6 per cent of the attempted suicide cases in the country. […] It was reported that most persons who committed suicide ingested Gramoxone, a non-selective herbicide that is used by millions of growers. It is used in approximately 100 countries on more than 100 crops. […]

Jaikaran noted that based on the region’s statistics on the suicide rates; they are able to scope out different persons. “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 explained. […] The Region Three REO added that the Administration hopes to create a partnership with the parents through the Parent Teachers’ Association (PTA) […]. 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. […]

For the complete report, go to

On the topic of suicide, researchers Maureen Anthony, Carla Groh and Jean Gash from the McAuley School of Nursing, University of Detroit Mercy, recently published “Suicide in Guyana: Nurses’ Perspectives” in the Journal of Forensic Nursing (Jan/Mar 2017, 13(1): 14-19). An abstract is available here

The photograph, sourced from the Guyana Chronicle website, shows high school students during a suicide prevention walk in Guyana in 2014.

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