Health Minister worried about suicide trend
- draft national plan for discussion
Guyana Chronicle
January 11, 2002

HEALTH Minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy is worried about recent cases of reported suicide and says details of a "very structured approach" to addressing the problem will be announced soon.

Counselling for persons who may be undergoing problems would be a critical aspect of the plan, he said, noting that some non-governmental organisations already offer such a service on an ad hoc basis.

There have been four reported suicides and several attempts at suicide since the year began and Ramsammy said Wednesday, "I am very concerned".

He noted that suicide is a serious public health problem.

The minister heads the Committee for the Prevention of Suicidal Behaviour and Suicide and said member, Dr. Bhiro Harry has submitted a draft national plan which the body will soon discuss.

That plan is also to be taken to the community for discussion and Ramsammy said the intention is to formalise a structure for counselling which will also cover alcoholism, family planning and other issues.

The committee includes representatives from the ministries of Health, Education, Youth, Culture and Sport and Human Services and the private sector.

"The committee is evolving and more representatives from the churches will be asked to join", the Health Minister reported.