- Lydia Nwanmu
World Suicide Prevention Day - "Creating Hope Through Action"
This article contains directories of suicide Response teams in Nigeria, working to reduce the public health crisis.
George is a billionaire real estate investor in his country. He has a thriving family and a few good friends. He has been described as charming, friendly and gregarious. But beneath that exterior lurks a crippling despair that leaves him with feelings of worthlessness for days, weeks or even months at a time. One day, he got to the office early and jumped out from the 15th floor of his office building. He died! But why would a rich young man with a seemingly envious life decide to commit suicide?
The World Health Organization has classified suicide as a serious public health problem. Every year, more than 700,000 people die due to suicide worldwide. Suicide is a death caused by self-directed injurious behaviour with the intent to die as a result of the behaviour. Suicide has no respect for age, race, gender or ethnic boundaries. Over time though, it has been discovered that a greater number of males commit suicide than their female counterparts. In Nigeria, for example, a survey concluded in December 2019, reveals that on average there are about 80.6% male suicides compared to female. I would attribute this to the flawed African mentality that men should be emotionless and shoulder their responsibilities squarely. Of this number, about 51.8% were married men. How sad!
What are some ways that we can help to curb this menace in our society?
How Can Suicide be Prevented?
Suicide prevention is best achieved by a focus across the individual, family, community and societal levels and across all sectors both public and private. Below are a few factors that could help us achieve a better world with fewer suicides
● If you know anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts, never be judgmental, rather be supportive.
● Ask them how they feel and really listen to their concerns. Help them focus on the positive aspects of life while not imposing your views on them.
● Be there - don't stigmatize them, try to be physically present with them as much as possible.
● Parents should foster socio - emotional life skills in their adolescents.
● Limit their access to suicidal materials like firearms or poison.
● Wives must learn to support their husbands and avoid nagging them unnecessarily, the world in itself is difficult, never make a man you claim to love feel alone.
Below are the telephone lines for suicide response agencies in Nigeria:
Nigerian Suicide Prevention Initiative Counselling Centre
234 806 210 6493
234 809 210 6493
234 809 210 6493
Lagos suicide hotlines, by the Lagos State Government
080 5882 0777
090 3000 0741
LUTH Suicide Research and Prevention Initiative (SURPIN)
090 8021 7555
081 1190 9909
070 1381 1143