The headline in one local newspaper stated, “Father of 3 buckles after wife leaves home”. The article added that the 51-year-old man committed suicide by ingesting poison after his wife walked out on him, taking their three children. Apparently, his sister had been spending time with him because he had become depressed after his wife had moved out.
Sadly, once again, here is a life that may have been saved if the sister had only called the suicide hotline. But the assumption here is that the sister would have been aware of the hotline and the services offered. Empirical evidence and our presence on the ground both indicate that Guyanese, in general, are not aware of the hotline, and even those who are aware are reluctant to call. This is why The Caribbean Voice has been consistently calling for comprehensive ongoing nation-wide publicity, education and information dissemination about the hotline, as well as for public release of data that indicates how the hotline has been successful in helping Guyanese, especially in saving lives thus far, given that such data would be an impetus for others to use the helpline.
Another article that made recent headlines related to a woman in an abusive relationship, who is scared for her life because the police offered her almost no help when she reported threats by her police officer husband. This is the latest in a rising spate of abuse/murders of our womenfolk by men, and clearly point to a number of deficits that have been highlighted by The Caribbean Voice and other social activist NGOs.
In any case, The Caribbean Voices and Voices Against Violence join the police in urging our womenfolk to ensure that as soon as restraining orders are obtained, please let the police stations around know about this.
The Caribbean Voice and other stakeholders have been waging an ongoing battle against the propounding of myths and misinformation relating to suicide and suicide activism. We were thus rather disappointed that a young weekly columnist for one of the local newspaper, in a column on suicide, drew conclusions and made uninformed comments that clearly indicate that the necessary research and reaching out to stakeholders were not done. Thus, with respect to social issues like suicide and abuse, we strongly urge media in general and columnists in particular to please get the facts and publish informed comments.
Guyana Inter Agency Suicide Prevention Helpline telephone numbers (+592) 223-0001, 223-0009, 600-7896, 623-4444, Email: [email protected], BBM PINS: 2BE55649, 2BE56020 Twitter: guyanaagency; WhatsApp: +592-600-7896, 592- 623-4444Facebook: Guyana Interagency Suicide Prevention Help Line.