Today October 10th is the World Mental Health Awareness day. The theme for the this year 2019 is FOCUS ON SUICIDE PREVENTION
In view of that, we will be discussing suicide Today!!!
Suicide is when a person takes his or her own life intentionally. You will recall that in recent times there have been issues of persons who drank ‘Sniper’ or jumped into the lagoon and drowned. Those are cases of suicide. Careless accidents or accidental poisonings are not considered suicide.
The World Health Organisation estimates that as much as 800,000 persons die by suicide every year. More so there are so many others who attempt suicide but do not succeed.
Those who have attempted suicide are more likely to successfully commit suicide. Suicide is commoner in low and middle income earning countries. It is also commoner in the young. In fact suicide is the second leading cause of death globally in persons between the ages of 15 and 29 years.
Causes of suicide
Most person commit suicide impulsively because of their inability to handle life stresses: financial, social, academic, relationship problems and otherwise. Suicide is common among people with mental illness (especially Depression) as well as persons who experience discrimination in one way or the other.
Commonest methods are the ingestion of insecticides like sniper, ingestion of overdose of medications, hanging and use of firearms.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognizes suicide as a major public health issue. There are therefore steps taken to reduce the rates. This involves Countries, communities, individuals, churches and other non Governmental organisations.
Measures that are important for individuals to take in the prevention of suicide include:
1. Early identification, treatment and care of people with mental illness, substance use and acute emotional stress. Please note that we all have our individual differences; hence we may not react the same way to the stresses of life. We have seen cases of persons who committed suicide after failing examinations. People who have severe acute life stress should be identified and given proper care.
2. Treatment and Care; Treatment and care of persons who are likely to commit suicide is of paramount importance. This is especially so in those who already have mental illness. Persons who are depressed usually need medications by the Mental Health Specialists. Persons who are isolated and lonely may just need visitation and relationships to pull through.
3. Avoid social discrimination: Suicide is common in people who experience discrimination. These persons are made to feel worthless in the society. Often times the only option they think that they have is taking their own live. Learn to relate and live with persons who are not exactly like you; you may be preventing one suicide.
4. Reduction of access and means; It is important to reduce access, means and opportunity to commit suicide. Hence the person who is depressed or going through a lot of stress should not have access to insecticides, certain medications, firearms or sharp objects. Such persons should not be left alone; being alone gives them the opportunity to succeed.
5. There are other measures thatthe government and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) can implement like policies on Alcohol, school- based interventions, training of both Health workers and non Health workers, follow up of persons who had attempted suicide ETC. All hands need to be on deck to reduce the rate of suicide in our communities.
6. Most importantly PRAY; God answers prayers.
Finally, if there is anyone out there who thinks that it is over, please note that it is not over for you. Once there is life, there is hope. I may not understand what the issues in your life are. However, believe you me people have been through similar things or even worse. Cling to God and cling to Hope.
GOD WILL SURELY SEE YOU THROUGH!!!
Have a great day