Ramsammy to appoint Director of Mental Health

Guyana Chronicle
August 7, 2001

MINISTER of Health Dr Leslie Ramsammy has announced that a Director of Mental Health will be appointed on September 1, 2001 to address the increasing rise in suicide cases.

Dr Ramsammy made the disclosure at a massive anti-suicide rally organised by the Corriverton Rotary Club (CRC) and held on Sunday, July 29, at Republic Square, Corriverton, Berbice. He assured the rally that a psychiatrist will effectively deal with the dreaded phenomenon.

The Minister pledged Government’s support to deal with the scourge and noted that plans are afoot for a psychiatrist to be attached to each public hospital. He said that with the cooperation of the community, this new development would provide greater support to those inclined to anti-social activities.

Dr Ramsammy acknowledged that suicidal tendencies are very complex, and he lauded the Corriverton Rotary Club for its work in the community.

Rotary Club, President, Dr Jadnauth Ragnauth, pointed out that suicide is the third leading cause of death, especially among youths between 13 and 19 years of age. He reported that 41 suicide cases were recorded in Berbice for the year. At Skeldon Hospital there were six suicide deaths for the month of July.

The Rotary Club President, who is also the Government Medical Officer (GMO) at Skeldon Hospital, outlined his organisation’s plans and appealed for other interest groups and members of the community to assist in eradicating all forms of abuse and social ills.

The rally of Sunday, July 29, was held under the theme “Rotarians in Partnership Against Suicide”. Participating bodies included: the East Berbice Live Savers Club, religious organisations, the Ministries of Health and Education and the Lions Club.

Rotary Club District Governor, Mr. Dunston Barrow, Dr Frank Beckles and Dr Iris Sukhdeo also addressed the gathering. (Arjune Poonai)