Mental health awareness in Guyana is also extremely inadequate

Mental health awareness in Guyana is also extremely inadequate. Chapter 8:01 96 of the Laws of Guyana states “Everyone who attempts to commit suicide shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and liable to imprisonment for two years”. This law ignores mental health issues triggering suicide e.g schizophrenia, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, postpartum depression, premenstrual syndrome and others and instead, criminalizes it. Current legislation disregards the fact that people who attempt suicide are experiencing difficulties which they cannot handle on their own. Suicide attempts should be decriminalized and instead, public awareness of suicide-triggers like emotional distress and depression should be increased so that loved ones, family and friends of people who attempt suicide can intervene and offer emotional support and professional psychological help can be sought.

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