Guyana carries continent’s highest suicide rate – video

Guyana carries continent’s highest suicide rate

The World Health Organisation says global suicide rates have increased by 60 per cent over the past 45 years.
In the tiny South American nation of Guyana, one in every 4,000 people end their own lives, the highest rate in the continent.

Guyana a country situated on the main land of South America has been reported to have the highest suicide rates in the entire continent of South America, and one of the highest in the world. These rates rank high among the Indo-Guyanese Population. There has been a tradition of suicides through hanging and drinking of pesticides.

However, it has not been acknowledged as a social problem until recently when religious groups and community workers decided to intervene by providing counseling. Speculations are that the economic pressures among religious contractions pertaining to courtships and marriage are the major causes.

Importantly, Guyana is the poorest nation in South America with its dollar being 200G =1US for over a decade now. Despite ecotourism industry, bauxite, gold and diamond mining sugar and rice exports there has been very little economic progress toward lowering the value of its dollar. As such, the cost of living is some 300% higher than the average income of the highest paid professional. (comment from Vauldine – Allvoices. Miami Florida)

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  • DMITRI ALLICOCK  On June 28, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Here some more depressing numbers:
    Criminal violence taking rising toll in Caribbean countries, UN report finds
    Photo: UN Webcast

    8 February 2012 – An increasing crime rate is threatening economies and livelihoods in Caribbean countries, states a new United Nations report that calls for the right mix of policies and programmes to tackle the problem.
    The Caribbean Human Development Report 2012, prepared by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), says that with the exception of Barbados and Suriname, homicide rates – including gang-related killings – have increased substantially in the last 12 years across the Caribbean, while they have been falling or stabilizing in other parts of the world.

    Latin America and the Caribbean are home to 8.5 per cent of the world population, yet the region accounts for some 27 per cent of the world’s homicides, according to the report, which was launched today in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

    The report – the first UN Human Development Report focusing on the Caribbean – is the result of extensive consultations with 450 experts, practitioners and leaders and reflect a large-scale survey with 11,555 citizens in the seven assessed countries in region: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

    It found that even though the total number of murders in Jamaica dropped after the report’s completion to 1,124 in 2011 – a seven-year low – the country has the highest homicide rate in the Caribbean and the third-highest murder rate worldwide in recent years, with about 60 murders per 100,000 inhabitants.

    Only El Salvador and Honduras have higher rates, with 66 and 82.1 murders respectively per 100,000 people, the report notes, citing figures from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). In Trinidad and Tobago, the report notes, murder rates increased five-fold over a decade, to more than 40 per 100,000 in 2008, and then declined to 36 in 2010.

    “Violence limits people’s choices, threatens their physical integrity, and disrupts their daily lives,” said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark at the report’s launch.

    “This report stresses the need to rethink our approaches to tackling crime and violence and providing security on the ground,” said Miss Clark. “We need to follow approaches that are centred on citizen security and address the causes of this recent increase in violent crime, including social, economic, and political exclusion.”

    Although murder rates are exceedingly high by global standards, Caribbean nations can reverse the trend, states the report, which calls for governments to beef up public institutions to tackle crime and violence while boosting preventive measures.

    Among its recommendations, the report calls on Caribbean governments to implement youth crime prevention through education, as well as provide job opportunities that target the marginalized urban poor.

    Because crime harms social cohesion, Caribbean nations must better address youth violence and street gangs, whose crimes are rarely prosecuted, the report adds.

    As for the impact on the region’s economies, estimates by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) show that the cost of gang-related crime is between 2.8 per cent and 4 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the region through both the cost of policing and as a result of lost income from youth incarceration and reduced tourism.

    According to the report, crime costs Jamaica alone over $529 million a year in lost income. In Trinidad and Tobago, a one per cent reduction in youth crime would boost tourism revenue by $35 million per year. For every additional “gang” in a community, homicide rates increased by about 10 per cent, according to research featured in the report.

  • Cyril Balkaran  On June 29, 2012 at 7:14 am

    How do we tackle the problems related to those depressing numbers in the world of reality. The countries continue to burn while criminals and serious crimes continue unabated, This region is not best known to promote good governance and that explains why nothing was done to improve the jails left by our British Masters! Population has grown and facilities have remained the same and so the Prison Systems and the Courts are not priorities anymore. If the Political Administration will not do its job while in office then the Criminals will do it for them. The Illegal Drug business, the illegal gun trade have given birth to numerous other problems and therefore we need to put systems in place to do things as counselling the wrong doer, develop Rehabilitation facilities and reform the inmates of the Prison System. The NGO’s are not coming forward to assist the development plan of the Government and this is where the CBO’s FBO’s and NGO”s come in. The criminal elements in the countries so listed deserve a better and humane understanding of the plight he got himself into in the first place and where it will lead him eventually. As for CARICOM they have let opportunities past them in every area of good governance and they are a lack lustre organization of which they are seemingly proud! Their many annual meetings are often clannish and no action plan is released. The Secty general is likened to a glorified CEO of any ordinary Club and that is the CARICOM of today! No singular Action Plan of Crime exist for the Region of the English Speaking Caribbean!

  • marvin  On June 29, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I would say that we need more jobs in Guyana because when you are out of school there is no job for us. That is why some of the kids find it hard.

  • Ron. Persaud  On July 1, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    At the risk of sounding callous, suicide has been a feature of Guyana life.
    My earliest memory was the dramatic suicide of Muhr Sheik, a young female school teacher who rode her bicycle off the Rosignol stelling after a confrontation with her father.
    My father told me of a young couple who jumped off Fort Groyne. Their bodies were found, in embrace, on the foreshore.
    I remember commenting in the newsletter of the Uitvlugt Community Center -in the early 1960’s -about the wave of suicides among young people. A newspaper article on the subject around the same time, suggested a great need for psychologists in the country.
    And surely we remember the days of “Jagan’s Milk Stout”.
    And was it here that I read of the first suicide at Kaieteur Falls?
    I agree that the suicide rate is highest among Indo-Guyanese and venture to suggest that the root cause is “helicopter parenting”.

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