Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, a time to share resources and stories of hope in an effort to shed light on the highly taboo and stigmatized subject.
Suicide is not just an epidemic in the United States. Over the years, the rate of suicide attempts in the Caribbean has been steadily increasing. However, there have been relatively few publications on suicide in the Caribbean.
Guyana is ranked as the second most suicidal country in the world. A 2012 World Health Organization report indicated that Guyana had a suicide rate of 44.2 per 100,000 people and that for every single female suicide, there were 3.2 male suicides.
Each year, more than 41,000 individuals die by suicide, leaving behind friends and family to navigate the tragedy of loss. Oftentimes, suicide loss survivors, or those affected by suicide, are left in the dark too. It is far too common for feelings of sadness, regret and resentment are clouded by shame and stigma which prevent positive discussion and open conversation.
In some countries and territories, suicide is still illegal. If the victim survives the attempt, instead of receiving help, there is a chance that they can be prosecuted.
We need to talk about suicide.
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, has shared awareness resources, warning signs, preparation guides and hotlines on their website.
If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out to your local family centres, wellness centres, doctors and councillors. International and local hotlines are always available.
There is hope. Please where yellow, not only on World Suicide Prevention day on 10th September, but also throughout the month, to show your support for those suffering and those who have lost loved ones to suicide.
For more information on NAMI, please visit https://www.nami.org/