Indian organisation wants suicide to be declared a “national priority”

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 January 2016, 9:35 by Denis Chabrol

Even as the Indian Action Committee (IAC) was crafting a statement to call on the Guyana government to declare suicide a ‘national priority,’ another man killed himself after his girlfriend decided to end their relationship.

Police said  23-year old Michael Stoby of 798 ‘C’ Field, Sophia Wednesday night used a cement sling and hanged himself at his home after his girlfriend, who was with him, told him that “she decided to call it quits and he thought the best way out was to take his life.”

Stoby ‘s death is the latest in a series of suicides to have rocked this South American nation that the World Health Organisation has already recorded as having the highest rate of suicide globally.

Over the past five days there were four reported deaths by suicide and five attempts, of which some are still hospitalized

Earlier Thursday, the IAC reiterated its call for suicide to be declared a national priority, although President David Granger has held an emergency ministerial meeting and decided that a national action plan would be hammered out by government , non-governmental and religious organisations.

“The IAC has labored in the past for this declaration to be made which it believes, if realized, would bring a much needed sense of priority which in turn would necessitate the provision of the crucial human, technical and financial resources to educate and mitigate on the circumstances that would propel people to end their lives,” said the organisation formerly called the Indian Arrival Committee.

The IAC said it was heartened by the recent emergency meeting convened by H.E. President David Granger with some members of his Cabinet to discuss the suicide spate. “While this is commendable, we believe that there is an urgent need for the necessary infrastructure to be established.”

The IAC noted that Guyana’s suicide battle was hamstrung by an inadequate number of psychologists, but remained confident that a declaration of ‘National Priority’ would aid in boosting current efforts and presents an opportunity for attracting additional local and international support.

Given the continual and seemingly growing impact suicide has on families, communities and the country as a whole, the IAC said Guyana could ill afford such loses in its human resources. “This further underscores our request for a swift declaration and calls on civil society to lend support to this call.”

The IAC repeated its call for all social and religious organization to intensify their efforts to provide guidance and counselling where necessary to aid it the mitigation of this social ill. “We remain in readiness to work with the Administration and civil society through meaningful engagements in helping to deriving useful mechanisms with regard to suicide,” said the organisation.

The IAC encouraged those who may, for whatever reason, contemplating or would have already, unfortunately, develop suicidal tendencies, to seek assistance where and if possible.