A Healthcare Administrator, Ms. Nkem DenChukwu on Wednesday, called for prevention of suicide and increased mental health awareness to curb the spate of suicide across the country.
DenChukwu, who is also an author and filmmaker, made the call in Yenagoa, noted that suicide was preventable.
She advocated the establishment of more specialised mental health facilities and capacity building for existing mental health practitioners, alongside mental health awareness, to promote access to mental health facilities.
The administrator said that frequent report of people committing was worrisome, adding that such problem required concerted efforts to encourage people to seek mental health services immediately early warning signals of depression were noticed.
DenChukwu explained that cultural practices that prevented people from admitting that depression was a medical condition with remedy, and not a taboo, should be discarded.
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She also said that rising cases of suicide pointed to the poor mental health attitude in the society, leading to avoidable deaths if preventive measures were taken by the people concerned to seek help.
According to her, at every point in time, people are contemplating suicide, attempting suicide, committing suicide due to several factors.
The author said, “Suicide is an act of cowardice, an escape, a selfish act, a disease, lack of faith in self or in life. Some commit suicide after being raped, losing a loved one, feeling hopeless or weak, and delusion.
“We can all help prevent suicide because the warning signs are always there and very glaring. We have to be 110 per cent attentive to the smallest signs; a little attention can save a life.
“Many that take to suicide do not want to die. They want what is causing their pain or grief to stop or be relieved. They often won’t ask for help and want to be left alone.
“Understanding how they are feeling is very important. Don’t tell them you understand because you don’t. You are not in their shoes to understand. Every shoe feels differently.
“Taking each day and each moment, one breath at a time to understand their matter can save a life. Encourage someone with suicide tendency to find a happy place he or she can always go to and then share with others.
“We should always be there to listen and encourage them to share their thoughts, no matter how bad they may seem and not to judge. Remind them that they possess strength and power to overcome such a problem, as reported by NAN.