Below is a statement from Opposition Member of Parliament Natasha Singh Lewis on World Suicide Prevention Day 2021:
Today we observe World Suicide Prevention Day under the theme “Creating hope through actions.”
This theme is especially relevant to all of us as we have endured the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic which has devastated families and communities resulting in a plethora of mental health challenges.
In Guyana, suicide has taken a prominent place in our communities, more particularly, our outlying regions and notably among our youth. Recently we have had to make national interventions in Baramita, a village in the Barima/Wani Region where our adolescent population suffered considerably.
We are aware that there is a link between suicide and mental health conditions. For example, depression and drug abuse are significant contributory factors. Suicide occurs in situations of crisis where an individual in a given moment decides that death is a better option than dealing with the stresses of life which may be financial in nature, chronic pain, bereavement occasioned by the loss of loved ones and broken relationship among other reasons.
As the theme suggests we should create hope through actions, and so it would be beneficial for Guyana for us to take some time and focus on our youth population.
We know that suicide can be devastating for families and we also know that suicide is preventable and so much can be done to bring awareness at the individual and community levels. Let us call on the governing regime to implement a national plan targeting our adolescent population in all of our communities.
Let us also individually make an effort to reach out to our friends, family and neighbours and start the conversations about the stresses of life as we experience the dire and worsening financial situations in our country today.