New initiative to help curb Guyana’s suicides

Author:  CMC
GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Health authorities say they have developed a tool that will help detect persons indulging in self-harm as Guyana, with one of the highest suicide rates in the world, initiates new measures to deal with the situation.


Guyana is reported to have the highest suicide rate per capita in the world. Figures show that there are 44.2 suicides per 100,000 people in the country, compared to the global average of 16 per 100,000.

The Mental Health Unit of the Ministry of Health said it has recognized that the rate of self-harm, classified as attempted suicide in Guyana, is more than double the rate of actual suicide cases. It said self-harm is the deliberate self-inflicted injury to an individual which is typically a manifestation of a psychological or psychiatric disorder.

As a result, the Mental Health Unit said it will be embarking on a measure to reduce or even eliminate the instances of attempted suicide and self-harm. The unit will be implementing a self-harm screening tool that will identify and counsel persons who have attempted suicide or practiced self-harm.

The screening toll is a questionnaire which will aid in the fight against suicide.