Suicide is not the forte of any group, ethnic or otherwise

Dear Editor,

In his letter of November 16, Abu Bakr cited a passing reference from an October 8, 2013 letter of mine, as ‘proof’ that he and I had an exchange on suicide. I suppose we will have to agree to disagree as to the connotations of the term ‘exchange’ (‘Has been looking at suicide phenomenon for years’). The reference also reinforces the contention that in so far as the government of the day would have been responsible for any factors that exacerbated suicide, it cannot escape blame. Surely Mr Bakr is not suggesting that the factors catalyzing suicide have absolutely nothing to do with government in office? As I pointed out previously we also did apportion blame for the current suicide crisis to the PPP government that followed the PNC in power.

Mr Bakr’s quote also validates my position that at no point did I ever, implicitly or explicitly, indicate that this responsibility of the government was a ‘trope’ for Black people. As I previously stated, this assertion is wholly and solely Mr Bakr’s intellectual property.

Also, Mr Bakr perpetuates his intellectual dishonesty by cherry picking (the fallacy of incomplete evidence) in relation to suicide to create a particular impression about suicide being a specific ethnic problem. In fact, the list of top 25 nations with the highest suicide rates in the world does not support such a conclusion at all: 1. Guyana; 2. North Korea; 3. South Korea; 4. Sri Lanka; 5. Lithuania; 6. Suriname; 7. Mozambique; 8. United Republic of Tanzania; 9. Nepal; 10. Kazakhstan; 11. Burundi; 12. India; 13. South Sudan; 14. Turkmenistan; 15. Russia; 16. Uganda; 17. Hungary; 18. Japan; 19. Belarus; 20. Zimbabwe; 21. Bhutan; 22. Sudan; 23. Comoros; 24. Ukraine; 25. Poland.

As the World Health Organization states, “Suicide is a global phenomenon in all regions of the world…” While “Nearly 30% of all suicides worldwide occur in India and China” it must be noted that these two nations comprise almost 40% of the global population. Furthermore, “Overall, suicide is the eleventh leading cause of death for all US Americans,” while globally it is the 10th leading cause of death. And suicide rates have increased by 60% globally over the past 45 years.

In effect suicide is not the forte of any specific group – ethnic or otherwise. Yet “effective and evidence-based interventions can be implemented at population, sub-population and individual levels to prevent suicide and suicide attempts.” And for such implementation, the government in power has the greatest responsibility. Is it not time therefore that we stop attempting to pigeonhole suicide as ‘us v them’, in a blame game to cast aspersions on any particular group, gain political mileage and/or score cheap points, and instead, recognize that suicide prevention is everybody’s business? Again I invite Mr Bakr to join us in this endeavour to save lives.

 

Yours faithfully,

Annan Boodram

Comments  

Judges should communicate how they approached interpretation

Dear Editor, Judges can promote social order when they use a clear interpretation methodology and display it in their rulings.

A man and his dog

Dear Editor, We always hear of negative things about homeless people but this is a true story that would bring smiles to your Sunday readers.

Caribbean should become more actively engaged in lobbying in US

Dear Editor, There have been strong calls for the private sector in the Caribbean to become more actively engaged in lobbying and other efforts to enhance the region’s relations with the United States, notwithstanding President Donald Trump’s announced America first policy.

Why the resistance to document production?

Dear Editor, Elements of the shrinking thinking class have watched in fascination, and some dread, at the attempted assassination of regulation, and the stonewalling of law enforcement investigation. 

City council owed $3b, amnesty in effect

Dear Editor, The Mayor and City Council wishes to inform all property owners that its City Treasurer’s Department will be opened from 8 am to 12:30 pm today.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×