TALKING SUICIDE PREVENTION.

Talking suicide prevention with the school children of Guyana

MARCH 14, 2016 | BY | FILED UNDER LETTERS 

Dear Editor,
Citizens Against Suicide Guyana a grassroot outreach group, took their Suicide Is Not The Answer program to several communities across Guyana and spoke to over 3,500 students in 17 secondary schools on finding their purpose and choosing life over death.
This group consisting of a few overseas based Guyanese, Roy Ganga a motivational speaker and his wife Valerie from Atlanta, Georgia;  Shalini  Ramkinshun  a Social Worker from Toronto Canada; as well as local Representative Orin Thomas. These individual after reading about the suicide epidemic in Guyana, pooled their personal resources and used their time to share their expertise with students and communities.
Their focus was through general education by talking to the students, teachers and parents on the importance of life as a whole, which includes handling bullying, peer pressure, child molestation, sexual orientation/gender identification, parental pressure,  depression and alcohol & drugs usage, with the hope that their efforts will supplement what the authorities (Health and Education Ministries)  are doing to empower citizens with the knowledge and tools to curb this epidemic.
The local communities were extremely supportive and receptive of the groups’ effort.  He went on to further state that by reaching the youths through real life scenarios will make a positive impact on their lives.  Being a stroke survivor, having to live with a visual disability and experiencing bout of depression, Mr. Ganga can relate to individuals battling similar mental health issues by letting them know they are not alone.
We emphasized that mental health is not a character defeat and it does not mean that individuals are weak or flawed,  it only means that they have more pain than others can cope with and even thought it might seems overwhelming and permanent at this moment but with time and the  right support they can overcome their problems.
During his visits and talks, we observed a few areas where we feel immediate action could be taken that would have a positive impact on saving lives due to suicide.
Unlike the large cities like Georgetown where there is a reasonable ratio of counsellors to schools, we noticed that in the cities/villages where suicide is prevalent, there are no or very few counsellors or social workers in the schools.  The youths in these areas, predominantly in Regions 2 Essequibo Coast and Region 6 Berbice, Corentyne, have no trained individuals that would be able to counsel them through their problems, which ultimately leads to them ending their lives prematurely.
To help close this gap, we suggested that teachers need to be trained on observing behavioral changes in their students, and be able to identify early signs of depression. This would mean having personal conversations with troubled youths and develop a trusted and safe forum where the youths can openly share their concerns. Understanding the root cause of the problem would enable the teachers to be better able to address the concerns with student and parents. Another noticeable observation is the level of poverty facing families across the country.
There are scenarios where students who cannot afford anything of substance, even to have lunch, are taunted by their peers. Additionally, whenever there are school functions where the students need to contribute, the students that cannot afford to contribute are told not to participate because they never bring anything. Shockingly enough some of these remarks are made by their teachers.
Also observed is an instance where a school has refused to accept a disabled child because the teachers cannot spend time and address the needs of this student. As a result this 7 year old child does not attend school. Communities throughout have expressed concerns regarding the lack of efforts by the Ministries and other government agencies in providing support to curb the suicide crisis facing their local communities.
In collaboration with the Sai Organization of Guyana, this group intends to provide ongoing outreach support to the communities. He believes that it will take a village to help solve the crisis by involving everyone to step up, reach out and make things happen.
Roy Ganga

Original Post

The credit here belongs to Mr. Roy Ganga. He is from the Essequibo coast and lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He is President of 'ENERGISE YOUR VOICE' - Executive Coach, Trainer, Keynote and Motivational Speaker. He noticed through media the rising suicide rate in the country and decided to do something about it.

He and a team came to Guyana and visited several several High Schools in the Essequibo and Berbice areas and gave talks to the students on suicide awareness. He is the one who wrote the above letter.

I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Ganga when he was doing his stint in Berbice and became quite interested in what he was doing and accompanied him on his visit to some of the schools here. I think that what he is doing is very admirable and he and his team should be commended for the effort they are making to help the situation. They are all doing this on a volunteer basis, no sponsorship from any quarter.

It is therefore for this reason I am doing whatever little I could to help spread the word and in the process save at least one life.

Kudos to Mr. and Mrs. Ganga and team. Bless you.

They have a Facebook page = https://www.facebook.com/Citiz...eGuyana2016/?fref=ts

Please visit and contribute your thoughts. Thanks.

ESSAY ON HOW SUICIDE AFFECTS THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY AND COMMUNITY.

 

Wanna kill yourself? Imagine this.

You come home from school one day. You’ve had yet another horrible day. You’re just ready to give up. So you go to your room, close the door, and take out that suicide note you’ve written and rewritten over and over and over.

You take out those razor blades, and cut for the very last time. You grab that bottle of pills and take them all. Laying down, holding the letter to your chest, you close your eyes for the very last time. A few hours later, your little brother knocks on your door to come tell you dinners ready. You don’t answer, so he walks in. All he sees is you laying on your bed, so he thinks you’re asleep. He tells your mom this. Your mom goes to your room to wake you up. She notices something is odd. She grabs the paper in your hand and reads it. Sobbing, she tries to wake you up. She’s screaming your name. Your brother, so confused, runs to go tell Dad that “Mommy is crying and sissy won’t wake up.” Your dad runs to your room. He looks at your mom, crying, holding the letter to her chest, sitting next to your lifeless body.

It hits him, what’s going on, and he screams. He screams and throws something at the wall. And then, falling to his knees, he starts to cry. Your mom crawls over to him, and they sit there, holding each other, crying.

The next day at school, there’s an announcement. The principal tells everyone about your suicide. It takes a few seconds for it to sink in, and once it does, everyone goes silent. Everyone blames themselves. Your teachers think they were too hard on you. Those mean popular girls, they think of all the things they’ve said to you. That boy that used to tease you and call you names, he can’t help but hate himself for never telling you how beautiful you really are. Your ex boyfriend, the one that you told everything to, that broke up with you.. He can’t handle it. He breaks down and starts crying, and runs out of the school.

Your friends? They’re sobbing too, wondering how they could never see that anything was wrong, wishing they could have helped you before it was too late. And your best friend? She’s in shock. She can’t believe it. She knew what you were going through, but she never thought it would get that bad… Bad enough for you to end it. She can’t cry, she can’t feel anything. She stands up, walks out of the classroom, and just sinks to the floor. Shaking, screaming, but no tears coming out.

It’s a few days later, at your funeral. The whole town came. Everyone knew you, that girl with the bright smile and bubbly personality. The one that was always there for them, the shoulder to cry on. Lots of people talk about all the good memories they had with you, there were a lot. Everyone’s crying, your little brother still doesn’t know you killed yourself, he’s too young. Your parents just said you died. It hurts him, a lot. You were his big sister, you were supposed to always be there for him. Your best friend, she stays strong through the entire service, but as soon as they start lowering your casket into the ground, she just loses it. She cries and cries and doesn’t stop for days.

It’s two years later. Your teachers all quit their job. Those mean girls have eating disorders now. That boy that used to tease you cuts himself. Your ex boyfriend doesn’t know how to love anymore and just sleeps around with girls. Your friends all go into depression. Your best friend? She tried to kill herself. She didn’t succeed like you did, but she tried…your brother? He finally found out the truth about your death. He self harms, he cries at night, he does exactly what you did for years leading up to your suicide. Your parents? Their marriage fell apart. Your dad became a workaholic to distract himself from your death. Your mom got diagnosed with depression and just lays in bed all day.

People care. You may not think so, but they do. Your choices don’t just effect you. They effect everyone. Don’t end your life, you have so much to live for. Things can’t get better if you give up.

 

If you or someone you know is in a suicidal crisis, Call:
223-0001
223-0009
660-7896
623-4444

Confronting the factors that give rise to suicide

MARCH 22, 2016 | BY | FILED UNDER LETTERS 

Dear Editor,
During my cross country visits and talking to youths, teachers, parents and community leaders in various communities, a few commonalites stood out as it relates to the suicide problem in Guyana which I feel, if addressed correctly, would have a positive impact on saving lives. These are some of the area where immediate action can help.
Unlike the large cities like Georgetown where there is a reasonable ratio of counsellors to schools, I noticed that in the in the areas where suicide is prevalent, there are very few or no counsellors or social workers in the schools.  The youths in these areas, predominantly in Regions 2 Essequibo Coast and Region 6, Berbice, Corentyne, have no trained individuals available to counsel them through their problems, which ultimately leads to them ending their lives prematurely.
To help close this gap, I recommend that teachers need to be trained on observing behavioral changes in their students, and be able to identify early signs of depression. This would mean having personal conversations with troubled youths and develop a trusted and safe forum where the youths can openly share their concerns. Understanding the root cause of the problem would enable the teachers to be better able to address the concerns with student and parents. This should not replace having trained behavioral health counsellors in the school districts.
Next, is the concern of child molestation, abuse and incest. Although children are encouraged to report these to the police, many don’t because they know the police will most likely release the perpetrator with a bribe etc, and they fear the consequences of facing the individual again.  They are afraid to tell anyone because of being labeled as a liar or be alienated. Their fear of going home or being in the vicinity of their attack causes severe anxieties and contemplation of death becomes more real for them.
Domestic violence is another area of concern.  It poses a serious threat to children’s emotional, psychological, and physical well-being, particularly if the violence is chronic. In addition to witnessing the horrifying acts of violence on one parent, children in homes with domestic violence are also constantly being verbally and physically attacked by a parent. They worry about their safety or the safety of a parent.
This adds to the current pressure the youths are facing to succeed at school, as such it takes a toll on their mental and emotional state.  I spoke with several youths who have attempted suicide and some have shown me their self-mutilation they have endured to themselves with the attempt of ending their lives or seeking attention for help.
Alcohol and drug use is very common. Users believe it eases their pain when in fact it masks the problem for that short period.  Once sober and they realize their problem is still there, they revert back to consuming more thus developing an addiction. Alcohol and drugs cause hallucination, clouds judgment, lowers inhibitions, and worsens depression which leads to other mental health challenges and ultimately suicide.
Parents need to understand that their vision for their child does not always equate to what their child’s vision is for themselves. Please sit and talk with your children and get to know then and understand what their thoughts and concerns are.  Learn to embrace their vision and support and nurture their strengths.
Due to the lack of psychologist, behavioral therapist or counsellors to help these troubled youths, they have no one to turn to for help.  They are unable to communicate with their parents because of the cultural premise of a child should be seen but heard.  I have encouraged them to report any abuse incident to law enforcement (although they don’t have confidence in this) and to speak with their teachers, spiritual leaders, friends or someone they feel they can confide in.  However the level of trust is not there and many feel they will be betrayed.
Communities throughout have expressed concerns regarding the lack of efforts by the Ministries and other government agencies in providing support to curb the suicide crisis facing their local communities. My encouragement to the communities is not to wait for the government officials to provide a solution. Instead work together, since it would take everyone’s help in putting an end to this problem one village at a time.
Together we can do a lot more and lessen the suicide rate if individuals in the mental health professional field can volunteer their time in order to have a constant availability of resources to address these issues. These are just a few of the key drivers of this crisis.  If you have the skills set required to provide counseling please message us. Tell us your areas of expertise and geographical location you can assist.  We will then connect you with someone in the location. Keep in mind this is a volunteer service.
Roy Ganga
Citizens Against Suicide (Guyana

Thank you guys for your support, like you said Cain every little helps. I would like to ask that all the members who bicker and bitch like little kids on Political to join the fight against suicide and support Citizens Against Suicide Guyana. Please contribute in some way to spread the word, every life saved is a victory. 

 

When you're stressed and going through hardships always remember things will get better. That is the promise of Allah, “So verily, with every difficulty there is relief: (repeated) Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.” (Surah Al-Insyirah 94:5-6)

Nari Khan posted:

When you're stressed and going through hardships always remember things will get better. That is the promise of Allah, “So verily, with every difficulty there is relief: (repeated) Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.” (Surah Al-Insyirah 94:5-6)

Really Nari?  with no disrespect and without malice....

is YOUR hope of things getting better when stressed only for muslims or for those who believe in the promise of Allah?   Is it presumptuous to believe that you and the people you have on this page are only focused on helping those who believe in what you wrote above?

 

 

Chameli posted:
Nari Khan posted:

When you're stressed and going through hardships always remember things will get better. That is the promise of Allah, “So verily, with every difficulty there is relief: (repeated) Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.” (Surah Al-Insyirah 94:5-6)

Really Nari?  with no disrespect and without malice....

is YOUR hope of things getting better when stressed only for muslims or for those who believe in the promise of Allah?   Is it presumptuous to believe that you and the people you have on this page are only focused on helping those who believe in what you wrote above?

 

 

Cham, if she were Christian she would have used the word "God" instead so I really wouldn't read it as only for one religion. Look at our guy Siggy, he always talking about God this and God that, when he says something like "God's gonna take us all out with fire an brimstone"  I take it as all not just Christians...see wuh ah mean?

cain posted:
Chameli posted:
Nari Khan posted:

When you're stressed and going through hardships always remember things will get better. That is the promise of Allah, “So verily, with every difficulty there is relief: (repeated) Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.” (Surah Al-Insyirah 94:5-6)

Really Nari?  with no disrespect and without malice....

is YOUR hope of things getting better when stressed only for muslims or for those who believe in the promise of Allah?   Is it presumptuous to believe that you and the people you have on this page are only focused on helping those who believe in what you wrote above?

 

 

Cham, if she were Christian she would have used the word "God" instead so I really wouldn't read it as only for one religion. Look at our guy Siggy, he always talking about God this and God that, when he says something like "God's gonna take us all out with fire an brimstone"  I take it as all not just Christians...see wuh ah mean?

cainstah, the word GOD represents all different beliefs...imo GOD is universal word for the greater being.  I would never say any one name of GOD on a public forum...unlike most folks here, i believe that there is one GOD and i will not give him or her a name when representing or trying to help everyone unless my help is only for those of my religion

I am ok with sig's use of the word  GOD as long as he does not say IN THE NAME of Jesus, Bhagwan, Allah, Buddha, Cain,...et al

 

Good morning Chameli, I am sorry if my being a muslim offends you. I did not mean to impose my belief or my religion on anyone. It is my simple opinion that the power of prayer helps; whatever religion one is and I have learnt this from personal experience. When someone is stressed or is having problems in life, prayer and meditation brings peace and tranquility, I don't think that it has any bearing on what religion you are. Allah is just another name for God. My belief and it is often said that there is only one God and He is called by different names. My religion is THE ONENESS OF GOD AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF MAN. 

I do not want to go into a discussion/argument on religion, my focus is on the prevention of the epidemic of suicide that is happening in Guyana.

Thank you Cain, I think you have the same opinion as me, that there is one Universal Being (God) regardless of what Name He is called. I think God is God regardless of what language is used to call His Name. That was a simple quote from the Quran I really did not mean to offend anyone. I am just trying for people to become aware of some of the ways that one can help people who are going through dark times. That is my focus, to help curb the suicide, not religion. Thanks.

Mr. Roy Ganga, having a hands on session with some students of the Port Mourant Secondary School. One of them asked him a direct question and immediately he could sense that that child was in trouble. A sensitive person will click and realise when there is need for help.

 

Nari Khan posted:

Good morning Chameli, I am sorry if my being a muslim offends you. I did not mean to impose my belief or my religion on anyone. It is my simple opinion that the power of prayer helps; whatever religion one is and I have learnt this from personal experience. When someone is stressed or is having problems in life, prayer and meditation brings peace and tranquility, I don't think that it has any bearing on what religion you are. Allah is just another name for God. My belief and it is often said that there is only one God and He is called by different names. My religion is THE ONENESS OF GOD AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF MAN. 

I do not want to go into a discussion/argument on religion, my focus is on the prevention of the epidemic of suicide that is happening in Guyana.

Nari, apart from what i highlighted, I like the rest of your response.  What part of what i wrote says I AM OFFENDED BY YOU BEING MUSLIM???

You are very right  about this a topic on the "prevention of te epidemic of suicide"

You are saluted for this intervention.  I was npt sure if your grouponly focus was on MUSLIM

My dear Chameli, you really came off sounding prejudiced against Muslims because you did not say anything on the fact that Mr. Ganga mentioned in one of his letters that he is working in collaboration with the Sai Baba organisation here in Guyana on his effort to bring awareness of the prevalence of suicide and the quote I posted by Sai Baba. You focused on the quote from the Quran which I, in my opinion has some relevance to the subject.

I am not a member of the group, it is just that I met with Mr. and Mrs. Ganga and I so much admire what they are doing (all voluntary) that this is my way of contributing my two cents worth of support. Nothing here is meant to be about religion or anything else except bringing awareness of the suicide problem in the country an trying to at least save someone from committing the act.

Best wishes to you and your family and I pray that you can offer some kind of support to our effort. Thank you. 

CITIZENS AGAINST SUICIDE-GUYANA.

OBJECTIVE:

Guyana with a population less than a million is ranked as the most suicidal country in the world (4 times the normal average).

This group envisions a nation free from the tragic experience of suicide by changing the public conversation around suicide and suicide prevention. Suicide is a major public health issue, taking life without regard to age, income, education, social standing, race, or gender. In Guyana this has become an epidemic. Your support is greatly appreciated in providing positive thoughts and words of encouragement to individuals that are going through a difficult time. Together we can engage the media, national leaders, schools, communities and the suicide prevention field in changing public narratives around suicide and suicide prevention to ones that promote social support, connectedness, treatment, hope, resilience, value, education and recovery.

Although the person who commits suicide only dies once, everyone that knew them will be affected by their death. This means that the act of suicide can cause a ripple effect, dispersing pain and grief among the survivors. If you take your own life, the act may cause other people to become deeply saddened and depressed.  Essentially many of the emotions that you experienced while depressed get passed on to remaining survivors.

It can be very difficult to recover from the death of a loved one, but it is usually more difficult if the individual took their own life.  The act of suicide leaves people behind with feelings of confusion, shame, and guilt that they couldn’t have done something about it.  This essentially drains them of their livelihood and “kills” them many times on the inside.  In some cases, the pain that a survivor feels actually leads them to follow through with the same act; further exacerbating the negative “ripples.”

 
Nari Khan posted:

My dear Chameli, you really came off sounding prejudiced against Muslims because you did not say anything on the fact that Mr. Ganga []

Best wishes to you and your family and I pray that you can offer some kind of support to our effort. Thank you. 

 

Nari, you are very right if you THINK or Believe that I am prejudiced against Muslims....I AM, just as I am prejudiced against members of any organization, religion, race, culture or creed....I am not prejudiced against all Muslims or any of the others mentioned...few of each!

Regarding me saying anything about Mr Ganga and the topic at hand, I don't read long posts but I am aware that he is doing some sort of intervention to prevent the epidemic of suicide plaguing the Indo Guyanese, and I wish him and all involved well. I lost many loved ones to suicide so if he can prevent other people loved ones from ending their life then  There are others on this forum who are involved in helping and giving support to the effort of Mr Ganga.  Personally, I have nothing to offer except for wishing him LUCK and Success in his endeavour.

Best wishes to you and your loved ones Nari.

Good Morning Smiles! The Adventure of life is to Learn,
The Purpose of Life is to Grow,
The Nature of Life is to Change,
The Challenge of Life is to overcome,
The Essense of Life is to care,
The Opportunity of Life is to Serve,
The Secret of Life is to Dare,
The Spice of Life is to Befriend,
The Beauty of Life is to Give.
By William Arthur Ward.
Have a Beautiful Day!

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