Mental health director for public hospitals
Each institution to have psychiatrist
Stabroek News
August 11, 2001

Come September 1, a director of mental health will be appointed to the public health sector and each hospital is expected to have a psychiatrist on staff to effectively deal with the burgeoning problem of mental health in Guyana.

Minister of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy, made these announcements at a recent anti-suicide rally in Corriverton, Berbice.

Dr Ramsammy also outlined the government's plan to deal with the scourge of suicide, through the implementation of new outreach programmes and assistance through the Life Savers Club, and other social institutions.

The rally, themed 'Rotarians in partnership against suicide', was preceded by a march which moved off from Skeldon Hospital.

Rotary President Jadunauth Raghunauth, in a brief address, informed the gathering that suicide, the third leading cause of death in Guyana was prevalent among young people between the 13 to 39 age group. He noted that last year, 59 persons committed the act, while during the first half of this year 41 persons died at their own hands. It was further revealed that during the month of July, 11 persons were admitted to the Skeldon Public Hospital after consuming poisonous substances. Six died. Raghunauth said that the Rotary will liaise with other interest groups to establish an information and data collecting centre in Berbice to deal with all types of abuse.

Other contributors were Dr Iris Sukdeo, sociologist at the University of Guyana; Dustan Barrow, Rotary district governor; and clinical psychologist Dr Frank Beckles.