Suicide: the silent killer.
10th October 2019 is International Mental Health Day and the theme is Suicide Prevention. The goal is to help raise mental health awareness. Each of us can make a contribution to ensure that people dealing with problems concerning mental health can live better lives with dignity.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year and is named second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-old in the world.
Suicide is highly linked to mental health disorders although in contemporary African society, it may be triggered by series of events that renders the victim unable to sustain the stress related problem such as financial challenges, relationships issues among other social problems.
Many people have attempted to commit suicide, and this predisposes them to the risk of trying to commit suicide again if they don’t get help or proper diagnosis is not done. We are loosing our loved ones because less attention is offered to try to understand what is beyond our life boundary, and seem less concern of what goes in the life of others only to be shocked by the sad news of an action.
We need to learn to be considerate and kind among each other. Stigma, particularly surrounding mental disorders and suicide, means many people who are having suicidal thoughts or who have attempted suicide are not seeking the help they desperately need.
In the African setting, taboos associated with suicide needs to be broken and initiatives made to prevent suicide as discussed below according to World Health Organization-WHO;
•Reducing access to the means of suicide (e.g. pesticides, firearms, certain medications);
•Introducing alcohol policies to reduce the harmful use of alcohol;
•Early identification, treatment and care of people with mental and substance use disorders, chronic pain and acute emotional distress;
•Training of non-specialized health workers in the assessment and management of suicidal behavior;
•Follow-up care for people who attempted suicide and provision of community support.
Thank you for reading and feel free to contact me if you would like to learn more about mental health disorders and suicide.
Article by Daniel Comboni Ocen