3,000 People Commit Suicide On Daily Basis Globally -Report

A World Health Organisation (WHO) status report on suicide has said that more than 3,000 people globally lose their lives due to suicide everyday.

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire disclosed this on Friday, September 9, 2022 at a Ministerial Press briefing to Commemorate the World Suicide Prevention Day held in Abuja.

Ehanire, who was represented by the Director, Public Health Department, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Alex Okoh stated that, for every suicide that was completed, it was estimated that more than 20 had been attempted.

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The Health Boss who defined suicide as the act of intentionally causing one’s death, lamented that each suicidal death was a public concern with a profound impact on those around them.

He also noted that, according to WHO status report on suicide, more than 3,000 people lose their lives due to suicide, equivalent to one life being lost every 40 seconds, accounting for approximately 800,000 deaths per year globally.

He further said that the tragic act was a preventable cause of premature death which could be influenced by psycho social, cultural and environmental risk factors that could be prevented through global responses that address these mainwidth factors.

He also said, most people that attempt suicide had existing mental health challenges which may or may not have been diagnosed. Also, evidence had been shown that adequate prevention could prevent suicide.

“Therefore, the bigger picture in suicide prevention is the comprehensive approach at the center of which is paying more attention to the mental health needs of individuals especially the youth who are experiencing stress from prevailing and emerging situations world wide.

“Identified risk factors for suicide include: depression, job or financial loss, feeling of hopelessness, harmful use of alcohol and other substances, chronic pain and illness, family history of suicide and genetic and biological factors.

“In addition, experiencing conflict and disaster, violence, abuse or loss and a sense of isolation are strongly associated with suicidal behavior. The strongest risk factor of suicide is a previous suicide attempt”, Ehanire said.

To prevent suicide, the Health Czar noted that, “promoting good mental health and suicide prevention through a multi sectoral approach involves the deployment of evidence base strategies which include strengthening economic support, improved access to qualitative and affordable mental health services, creation of protective environment by reducing stress to libel means among people at risk of suicide, promoting connectiveness by peer known programs and community engagement, teach coping and problem solving
skills among others”.

Similarly, WHO Country Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Walter Mulombo said, “by raising awareness, reducing the stigma around suicide, and encouraging well-informed action, we could reduce instances of suicide in our country and inadvertently around the world”.

He added that one could also play a role in supporting those experiencing a suicidal crisis or those bereaved by suicide as a member of society.

Highlighting some of the progress made in fighting suicide in the country, Dr. Mulombo said: “for national responses to be effective, a comprehensive multisectoral suicide prevention strategy is needed. 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.

“As WHO we pledge to continue supporting 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 said.

World Suicide Prevention Day was established by the International Association for Suicide Prevention with the WHO as co-sponsor of the day. The purpose of the day was to raise awareness around the globe that suicide Could be prevented.

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