A Psychologist, Dr Irene Ofordile on Tuesday advised youths to embrace dialogue as a way of resolving their grievances and frustrations rather than take to violence or suicide.
Ofordile, who works with the Anambra State Polytechnic, Mgbakwu in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said that suicide was a major cause of premature deaths among youths in the society.
She lamented the increasing rate of suicide among Nigerian youths.
According to her, research by the Association of Psychiatrists of Nigeria (APN) and the Suicide Research and Prevention Initiative (SURPIN), indicated that about one-fifth of suicide cases occur among youths aged between 13years and 19 years.
“Also, the findings stated that about 63.5 per cent of youths aged 20 years to 39 years were having thoughts of suicide out of which 28.2 per cent of them were students.
“This calls for worry, especially for a country like Nigeria that has a relatively youthful population, and these youths are the major productive age group. To lose them to suicide has grave consequences for economic growth.
“Suicide has a lot of underlying factors such as feelings of pain, losses, depression, broken relationships and hopelessness, and these have a lot to do with the youth and their orientation.
“Having access to kill oneself mostly via hanging, firearms, an overdose of drugs, poisons, accidents and some dangerous chemicals, calls for concern,’’ she said.
Ofordile said that a lot of people silently commit suicide in Nigeria without people noticing or recognising it.
“In Nigeria, some people take an overdose of drugs, drink dangerous and poisonous chemicals, and when they don’t wake up, we take it as a natural death.
“Some road accidents might also be suicidal, but we do not get to know because we were not there when it happened,’’ she said.
According to Ofordile, there is the need to organise regular forums aimed at orientating the youth that there are alternative ways to resolve grievances and frustration rather than taking to violence or suicide.
“We need to go to schools and communities to create awareness, train people to train others and spread the message.’’
Ofordile, however, advised parents to observe their children and wards closely as there could be some sudden behavioural change that might lead to suicide.
“If you notice that a child who used to be an extrovert or outgoing had suddenly become depressed, moody and keeps to self, find out what is wrong and help find a solution to whatever the problem is.
“Even within the community, let us be mindful and watchful of the people living around us and the way they behave,’’ she advised.
She also urged the government and the youth orientation agencies to develop a policy framework and organise campaigns and counselling in schools to advocate change and impact positive behaviour. (NAN)