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Per capita Guyana has the highest rate of suicide in the world. Is it is true that most people who die by suicide have a mental or emotional disorder (Mental Health America). But there is still much skepticism among Guyanese to deal with mental illness. The stigma associated with the illness has caused many to suffer in silence rather than reach for help. But staying in the shadow does more harm than good, hindering more than helping people cope with an illness, if effectively managed, can result in persons being highly functional and living life to its fullness.
Thankfully, influential people are coming out more every day, using their platform to share their stories, and are helping to change the narrative. Among those are Oprah Winfrey, Meagan Markle, Prince Harry and Prince William. The more those affected by mental illness are made aware that they are not alone, and others are educated about the disease, the better it is for those suffering to seek help and their loved ones to support them. Mental illness can be successfully managed.
Kitty Westin, who has had personal, in this Tedx Talk, is offering her opinion on how the stigma and shame of mental illness could be broken:-