WPO state­ment on World Preven­tion Sui­cide Day

Weekend Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -


Preven­tion Sui­cide Day will be ob­served on Sun­day, Septem­ber 10, and here in Guyana there are a num­ber of ac­tiv­i­ties that are planned to ob­serve this day.

The Women’s Pro­gres­sive Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WPO) will join in the com­mem­o­ra­tion ac­tiv­i­ties by hold­ing eight ac­tiv­i­ties to show our concern and sup­port to all who are in­volved in this fight and to bring aware­ness that sui­cide should not be the op­tion to any­one.

The World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO) at its 66th As­sem­bly adopted the first ever men­tal health plan of the world in which preven­tion is an in­te­gral as­pect of the plan with the goal of re­duc­ing the rate of sui­cide in coun­tries by 10% by 2020.

Sui­cide is a ma­jor is­sue for so­ci­ety and it oc­curs all over the world and can take place at any age. De­vel­oped coun­tries that have a good stan­dard of liv­ing as well as mid­dle class fam­i­lies and poor fam­i­lies in un­der­de­vel­oped coun­tries also suf­fer from this prob­lem.

Sta­tis­tics pro­vided by WHO in­di­cates that one per­son com­mit sui­cide ev­ery 40 sec­onds. In the Amer­i­cas, the av­er­age es­ti­mated sui­cide rate is 7.3 per 100,000, which is lower that the global av­er­age of 11.4 per 100.

Guyana has the high­est es­ti­mated sui­cide rate 44.2for 2012 in the world. In­ter­est­ingly, the sta­tis­tics, when an­a­lyzed, re­veal that 72.2% males com­pared to 24.6% fe­males take their life.

This in­for­ma­tion gives rise to a num­ber of other ques­tions, which as a na­tion we are con­fronted with. Why is it that more males take their lives?

Could it be that they are un­able to cope with sit­u­a­tions that con­front them in life and as such they take the easy way out?

This is a com­plex prob­lem, which has to be an­a­lyzed from a so­cial­iza­tion con­text.

We live in a male-dom­i­nated en­vi­ron­ment where men were brought up to be­lieve that they should be the sole provider in their fam­i­lies, they should be strong and they should be in charge of their homes.

This is the view that per­sisted for a very long time and even more so now. That de­bate is chang­ing and has changed in many parts of the world as women seek to carve out a lit­tle space for them­selves. The re­al­ity is that the chang­ing na­ture of pro­duc­tion and pro­duc­tiv­ity makes it eas­ier for women to take her place in the world of work. Thus, with more eco­nomic in­de­pen­dence women are no longer tol­er­at­ing abuse and vi­o­lence and they are tak­ing de­ci­sions which they could have never done be­fore

An­other im­por­tant as­pect of this prob­lem is the ab­sence of jobs and op­por­tu­ni­ties, which give rise to anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion.

Un­for­tu­nately, we do not have the req­ui­site in­sti­tu­tions and mech­a­nisms to deal with this trou­bling health prob­lem. Cou­pled with this is the prob­lem of al­co­hol and drug abuse as well as fam­ily dis­lo­ca­tion.

In the ab­sence of these es­sen­tial ser­vices peo­ple tend to turn to the easy way out by tak­ing their lives. What they fail to un­der­stand in com­ing to that con­clu­sion is that while they may have ended their re­la­tion­ship with the prob­lem, it is their fam­i­lies which are sad­dled with the bur­den and ev­ery­thing else that goes with sui­cide.

We call for more in­sti­tu­tions and pro­grammes to as­sist peo­ple who are de­pressed and who are in need of health re­lated sup­port.

We en­cour­age civil so­ci­ety and faith based or­ga­ni­za­tions to come on board to as­sist those per­sons who are troubled and who are un­able to cope with their re­al­i­ties.

We need to re­mind cit­i­zens that there is never go­ing to be a smooth life, there will al­ways be chal­lenges. Thus, while things are smooth they need to cre­ate link­ages that they can fall back on.

Fam­ily and friend sup­port is crit­i­cal in this fight against sui­cide. Let us strife to live our life since it is the most cherished pos­ses­sion.

The WPO, there­fore, calls on all Guyanese to light a can­dle or diya at 8.00 pm as a sym­bolic ges­ture.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Guyana

© PressReader. All rights reserved.