Guyana is no longer the suicide capital of the world, having fallen to fourth place, according to crude statistics on the World Health Organization (WHO) website.

Although the latest tabulations indicate a steadily rising rate of suicide in Guyana from 2000 until 2012, there is a notable decrease between 2012 and 2015, which would signal that the various systems put in place, including a suicide hotline, have started to make the desired impact.

According to the crude data on the WHO’s website, which was last updated on April 4, this year, as at 2015 Sri Lanka had the highest suicide rate in the world at an estimated 35.3 per every 100,000 inhabitants; Lithuania was second with 32.7; the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea third with 32.0; and Guyana fourth with 29.0.

The Guyana government has launched the National Mental Health Action Plan for 2015–2020 and a national suicide prevention plan, which is currently being implemented in tandem with the WHO’s Mental Health Gap Action Programme, which is being rolled out in low and middle-income countries and aims to scale up services for people with mental, neurological and substance use disorders.

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