Stress relief centre to come on stream

Stabroek News
May 23, 2001

The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security has budgeted for the operations of a stress management centre to offer counselling to deal with the issue of suicide at Port Mourant, Corentyne this year however the centre is still to be established.

In a telephone interview, Minister in the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, Bibi Shadick told Stabroek News that the construction of the centre is a project which the National Building Society has undertaken to build at a cost of $10 million.

The project, she said was conceived by her predecessor Indra Chandarpal and it will be further developed. At the moment she noted that counselling is being offered on a case by case basis.

She said that apart from the project in Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne) she has begun discussions with the Raj Yoga Centre in Georgetown and psychiatrist Dr Bhairo Harry to conduct training sessions in stress management with some of her staff. The objective is to provide counselling in the regions.

Welcoming the study on suicide titled `The Shadow of Death - a recent study of suicides in Guyana - Incidents, Causes and Solutions' conducted by the Centre for Economic and Social Research (CESRA) and commissioned by clinical and forensic psychiatrist Dr Frank Beckles, Shadick said that what was unfortunate was that the organisers of the launching of the study today did not see it necessary to invite her ministry.

The study has recommended that suicide should be declared a public health problem since it takes as many lives as AIDS.

Shadick noted, however, that the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security has a plan to deal with the problem which she admitted is a public health problem. However, she added while it is a public health problem, she felt that it should also be dealt with sensitively as suicide was more of a private nature. (Miranda La Rose)