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Guyana scores highest in Caribbean suicides

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Guyana has the highest suicide rate in the Caribbean, followed by Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

This is according to psychiatrist Gerard Hutchinson who was speaking at a media sensitization workshop held recently at the Trinidad Hilton.

He said the most common factors leading to suicide were family or relationship issues and economic hardships, while most common method was ingesting poisonous substances.

Hutchinson noted that figures related to suicide by hanging or with the use of a firearm have been increasing in recent times.

He said legislation can be put in place to ensure that people seeking to purchase pesticide poisoning have agriculture licenses or are made to have some level of responsibility.

The psychiatrist said while Trinidad and Tobago continues to record between 140–200 suicides yearly, media practitioners are being urged to be responsible in their reporting of these cases.

Graphic or detailed reporting on suicides has been proven to lead to “copycat” behavior, according to Dr. Daniel Reidenberg, executive director of Suicide Awareness / Voices of Education (SAVE), a non-profit agency based in the United States.

He said the global reporting on suicides should be to provide only information that is necessary and not to provide information that other suicidal people can use to harm themselves.

Reidenberg noted that a life is lost due to suicide nearly every 40 seconds, accounting for more than 800,000 deaths worldwide.

Trinidad and Tobago is ranked 41st out of 170 countries in the world for the highest number of suicides per 100,000, he added.

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