Guyana Going By The Book To Prevent Suicide.

Image: Guyana Public Informaton Service.
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Guyana is all set to transform its approach to dealing with mental health issues and suicide, following the simultaneous launch of the new National Mental Health Action Plan and National Suicide Prevention Plans on Tuesday.

This written plan, comprising new programmes and policies, will be implemented within the country’s health system from 2024 to 2030, to achieve all outlined objectives in the booklet.

It encompasses strategic areas to strengthen governance and leadership for mental health, develop a comprehensive and integrated community-based mental health care system, establish a suicide prevention plan to reduce the country’s suicide rate, decrease alcohol and substance use, and foster inter-sectoral collaboration for rehabilitation.

Additionally, it aims to prevent mental disorders, improve mental health literacy, and enhance mental health information systems.

This new plan was developed in accordance with the National Mental Protection and Promotion Bill of 2022 and the Suicide Prevention Act of 2022.

While delivering the keynote address at the Ministry of Health’s head office on Brickdam, Minister Dr Frank Anthony noted that this new plan will also help to revitalise the mental health and suicide laws in the country.

“PAHO\WHO assisted us in doing an analysis, and having done that analysis we lay the foundation for this current plan that we have now. While doing that we were able to enhance the mental health environment because when we look at the laws, they were quite outdated,” Minister Anthony stated.

The plan will adopt a human rights approach to addressing mental health and suicide, thereby improving the treatment of patients suffering from these conditions.

Meanwhile, Assistant Director of PAHO/WHO, Dr Rhonda Sealey-Thomas congratulated the ministry for achieving a milestone that will greatly transform the country.

“We are confident that Guyana’s mental health plan will guide the implementation of the package of priority mental health policies and treated actions that are built on underlying and cross-cutting principles of universal health coverage, human rights, and equity,” Dr Sealey-Thomas said.

The action plan will also involve greater collaboration with the private sector, as new services will be introduced within the community and schools to raise further awareness about mental health and suicide.

Source: Guyana Government Information Services.
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