Research revealed that approximately 20,000 people are currently battling various mental illnesses in Guyana.
At the opening of the Mental Health and Well-Being Conference at the Arthur Chung Conference Center today, it was revealed that approximately 20,000 people are battling various mental illnesses in Guyana. It was also revealed that suicide among the country’s youths is on the rise.
Minister of Health, Frank Anthony during his address said that the improved care for people with mental health is crucial. Minister Anthony noted that Guyana over the years has grappled with a high suicide rate. The high suicide rate according to the minister is a major concern for his ministry.
Minister Anthony further noted that greater collaboration and research locally are needed to address the prevalence of suicide and mental illness. With research-based intervention, the minister believes Guyana will be in a better position to care for persons struggling with their mental health. The health minister during his address also pointed at the government’s mental health and suicide prevention laws as a direct effort to promote the well-being of persons in Guyana.
Official figures presented at the conference show that Guyana had the second-highest suicide rate in the world in 2019, with an estimated mortality rate of 40.3 deaths per 100,000 people.
Research also showed that some suicide statistics in Guyana have been consistent such as those that point to the prevalence of suicide among men and the East-Indian population, as well as the substantial misuse of pesticides.
The Mental Health and Well-Being Conference is the second of its kind to be held in the country. The conference has attracted local, regional and international stakeholders as part of a collaborative effort to improve mental health care and reduce the prevalence of suicide in the country. The Conference is expected to run until the 15th of November 2022 and is open to the public.