Mental Health Unit’s Services Decentralized

2 Dec 2022 News

The Mental Health Unit’s services are now available across three (3) Regional Hospitals, and eight (8) Health Centers in Regions 2, 3, and 4.

Collaboration with the GPHC Psychiatry Department has seen the expansion of Specialist Psychiatry Satellite Clinics​ across regions 1 through 10:

  • Adult Psychiatric Clinics expanded across eight (8) Regions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9 & 10​
  • Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics initiated across four (4) Regions – 3, 4, 5 & 6

Gatekeepers Training for Suicide Prevention 

1 Dec 2022 News

The Mental Health Unit provided training for a total of 150 key persons across five (5) Regions to become “Gatekeepers”. These persons include teachers, civil society members, police officers, and religious & community leaders, within communities of Regions 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6.

Gatekeepers were trained in these specific areas:

  • Distinguish when someone at risk for suicide.​
  • Provide knowledge on psychological distress, including verbal, behavioral or situational
  • Raise awareness about suicide to reduce stigma and discrimination.​
  • Provide knowledge about suicide and provide positive coping skills to individuals at risk.​
  • Link at risk persons for suicide to suitable mental health services in an efficient and coordinated manner.​

Mental Health Unit collaborations

1 Dec 2022 News

Ministry of Human Services​ & Social Security, and the GPHC Psychiatry Department

Collaborations with the Ministry of Human Services​ & Social Security, and the GPHC Psychiatry Department, provide monthly Psychiatric Clinics for the residents of the Night Shelter and the Hugo Chavez Rehabilitation Center.​

Guyana Prison Service

On 11th November 2022, a total of 39 inmates from the Georgetown, Lusignan and Timehri Prisons successfully graduated from mental health workshops in Stress & Anger Management.

Guyana Well-Being Project Columbia University U.S.A.

A national investigation conducted by Columbia University in New York, USA, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, Guyana, and funded by the US National Institute of Mental Health that measures risks with respect to self-harm in individuals aged 15 and older who have either attempted or completed any aspect of self-harm.

PAHO/NSRF Self-Harm Surveillance Project 

A collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the National Suicide Research Foundation (NSRF) and School of Public Health, University College Cork, Ireland and the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, that saw to the training of medical personnel for surveillance of hospital presented self-harm in Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago and Suriname. ​Encompasses eight (8) hospitals, across regions 3, 4 & 6.

International Development and Relief Foundation (IDRF) – Canada

Called the ‘Safeguarding the Human Dignity and Rights of Populations at Risk for Ill-Mental Health in Vulnerable Communities across Guyana’ project, this collaboration focuses on strengthening the availability and capacity of mental health services at both the community and school levels, to address high suicide rates among other areas.

Mobile Psychiatry Clinics

1 Dec 2022 News

Twice-weekly home visits are taken, by a mental health team, to psychiatric patients who are unable to receive medical treatment at the hospital, and/or to facilitate admission, if necessary. The mobile team also responds to cases of concern within communities which require urgent mental health intervention by professionals.

person exiting mobile van
person exiting mobile van

Suicide Prevention Bill passed in Parliament

1 Dec 2022 News

In November the Suicide Prevention Bill 2022 was passed in parliament.

  • Enacts the decriminalization of suicide in Guyana.
  • Establishment of a National Suicide Prevention Commission:
    • Responsible for the preparation of a National Suicide Prevention Plan
    • The planning, design and implementation of public programmes to reduce suicides and suicide attempts in the country
    • Sensitization and awareness training on suicide and suicide prevention
    • The establishment of Suicide Prevention Centres across Guyana.


Mental Health Protection and Promotion Bill 2022

1 Dec 2022 News

The New Mental Health Bill passed in Parliament on 8th August 2022. This Bill was created with consultations from PAHO/WHO and national and international stakeholders, and repeals the Mental Health Ordinances of 1930. It aligns with all the major international instruments relating to the rights of people with mental health disorders. 

The purpose of this Bill is to provide for the mental health care of persons with mental illness and to protect, promote and fulfil the rights of those persons during the delivery of mental health care. It goes a very far way in identifying those rights, promoting those rights, protecting those rights and it provides a regime of legal remedies if these rights are infringed, contravened, or not observed.

This is the overarching legislation that guides the implementation of all mental health policies in the way that mental health patients are treated including respect for their rights.


The objectives of the Bill enshrines the provision of mental health care in a holistic manner with respect for the dignity and human rights of persons with mental health disorders.


The Bill provides strengthens the collaborative measures to foster mental health promotion policies, training and coordination among various stakeholders.


The Bill protects the human rights and dignity of a person with mental health disorders. It also enables them to participate in their own treatment plan, have a legal representative and to be treated and live within their own community without being discriminated. The treatment administered also takes into consideration the treatment needs that are least restrictive to the person’s rights.


This new bill will see the establishment of a Mental Health Board, whose members among others will include a human rights specialist, a user of mental health services and a family member or caregiver of a person with a mental health disorder. The Board will work to ensure the protection of the rights of people with mental health disorders.


The bill also provides legal measures if these rights of persons with mental disorders are infringed, contravened, or not observed.




Disclaimer: The content of this website is to be used strictly for educational purposes. This information is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice or consultation with a mental health professional.