With the rapid spike in suicide-related deaths in Guyana recently, several agencies including, governmental and non-governmental entities have taken a stance, as they have embarked on a mission to curb the situation.
Religious entities have also begun to play a part in combating this issue as several walks, seminars, outreaches and even call-in services have been set in motion to bring about public awareness and comfort to the grieving.
On Monday last, the Schools’ Welfare Unit of the Department of Education, Georgetown, held its first series of Suicide Awareness Sessions at the Central High School.
Under the theme, “Choose Life-Say No to Suicide!,” students and teachers listened to presentations from Mrs. Sita Nagamootoo, wife of the Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo; Pastor Eworth Williams, Motivational Speaker; Mrs. Glenna Vyphius, Chief Schools Welfare Officer; Dr. Latchmin, Professional Counsellor and Mr. Kirk Jardine.
Ziya Rambarran, student of St. Rose’s High School, also performed a beautiful dance which sent a strong message to “Stop Suicide.”
Mrs. Nagamootoo highlighted some of the causes of suicide such as stress, abuse, drug addiction, pressures at school and hurt from broken relationships. She further elaborated that love is very important in a person’s life.
Meanwhile, Pastor Eworth Williams told the students that they have a purpose in life and on the road to accomplishing their purpose they might encounter a few challenges/obstacles.
However, he added that they should never give up; they need to persevere in order to accomplish that which God would have created them to accomplish. He implored the students to keep their eyes on the prize and remain focused to achieve their goals.
Additionally, Mrs. Vyphius in her discourse indicated the importance of making the right choices and the fact that suicide is not the answer.
Kirk Jardine popularly known as ‘Chow Pow’, shared his personal battle with stress. He told the children that due to life’s challenges and difficulties he started abusing drugs at 8 years old. He continued by sharing that as a result of his addiction, he attempted suicide.
He further explained that at age 31, he entered rehabilitation and after interacting with counsellors, he realized that his life was spared because he had a purpose.
Dr. Latchmin shared how chemical imbalances in the brain can drive someone to committing suicide. She added that it is necessary to have positive thoughts since it will contribute to a positive outlook on life.
The session was chaired by Ms. Onika Pearson, Senior Schools Welfare Officer, who shared some ways to cope with suicidal thoughts and addressed misconceptions about suicide.
The session ended with teachers, students and all present, singing the famous song “Lean on Me” as a reminder that there are persons available to call on in time of need.
Sessions continue on February 19, at 9:00hrs, at the Brickdam Secondary School followed by another session on February 22, 8:30hrs at the St. Stanislaus College and the final session, February 26, at 9:00hrs at the Cummingslodge Secondary School, East Bank Demerara.
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