By Linda Ike
The World.Health Organisation said over 700,000 people commit suicide annually with 77% of all global suicides occurring in low-and-middle-income countries.
WHO Country Representative, Dr Walter Mulombo stated this in his talking points to mark the 2022 World Suicide.Prevention Day.
World Suicide Prevention Day is commemorated on September 10, every year and this is aimed at raising the much needed awareness that suicide is preventable.
Dr. Mulombo in a statement issued by the WHO said Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15–29-year-olds, and remains a serious public health concern with a profound impact on all.
He disclosed that for every suicide, there are likely 20 other people making a suicide attempt and many more have serious thoughts of commiting it.
Dr. Mulombo stressed that every case of suicide is a tragedy that affects families, communities and entire country, adding that it has long-lasting effects on the people left behind.
He advised that suicides are preventable with timely, evidence-based and often low-cost interventions, stating that for national responses to be effective, a comprehensive multisectoral suicide prevention strategy is needed.
He also noted that “In 2013, the World Health Assembly adopted the Mental Health Action Plan 2013 – 2020 and identified suicide prevention as an important priority for achieving the global target of reducing the rate of suicide in countries by 10% by 2020.
“Nigeria has shown commitment to this target by first of all establishing the new National Mental Health Programme in the Federal Ministry of Health to provide strategic leadership on mental health activities and also worked closely with the National Assembly to develop a new mental health bill which aligns with international standards
“We are all eagerly awaiting the assent of this bill by H.E. The President of Federal Government of Nigeria”.
Dr. Mulombon reaffirmed WHO”s continues support to the Country to implement priority activities towards mental health including suicide prevention and control.
“In the coming weeks, we will be supporting the review and update of the 2013 National Mental Health Policy, development of a national framework for suicide prevention and commemoration of the 2022 World Mental Health Day.
He called for more awareness to reducing the stigma around suicide, and encouraging well-informed action,
“We can reduce instances of suicide in our country and inadvertently around the world.
“We can all play a role in supporting those experiencing a suicidal crisis or those bereaved by suicide whether as a member of society.
.”We can all create hope through action and be the light.
The theme of this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day is “Creating hope through action” which according to him serves as a reminder that there is an alternative to suicide.
“The theme also aspires to inspire confidence and light in all of us, aims to empower individuals to be in charge of their lives and value the one life they have. Creating hope through action highlights the importance of setting suicide prevention as a priority public health agenda by countries, particularly where access to mental health services and availability of evidence-based interventions are already low.” he said.