The Chief Medical Director, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Kware, Dr Shehu Sale, has advised Nigerians to consider rising suicide cases as a global concern caused by lifestyle challenges rather than restricting it to mental health disorders.
Dr Sale, at a sensitisation lecture in commemoration of the 2019 World Mental Health Day celebration, tagged “Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention as a Global Challenge,” organized by the hospital, emphasized the need for a holistic approach to address causes of suicides in Nigeria.
He said that the increasing rate of suicides should be a source of concern for stakeholders including governments, families, policy-makers, and organisations and look for ways to resolve them.
He said, ”Suicide should not be viewed as only mental health problem because the menace is becoming a global concern. It is now common among adolescents and young adults between 15 and 29 years.
”World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that about 800,000 people die annually from suicide worldwide, and over 78 per cent of suicide occurred in low and medium-income countries in 2015.”
He identified depression, emotional trauma, economic challenges, neglect, financial imbalance, joblessness, among others, as some possible causes of suicide.
“Peer group rejection, low self-esteem, academic and relationship failure, family discords can lead to suicide among young people.
”The rate of suicide incidence in Nigeria today is no doubt alarming and very disturbing which deserves more attention as studies in Nigeria have shown a rising and disturbing trend in alcohol and substance use among adolescents and young adults,” he added.
He also described mental health education as a tool for curbing the rising tides of suicide in Nigeria.
The Medical Director enjoined parents, teachers, and guardians to train their teenagers on emotional management skills.
He advised people to always try to live simple lifestyles and equip themselves with strategies for coping with challenging situations that pose a threat to their mental wellbeing.