A Healthcare Administrator, Nkem DenChukwu, on Wednesday called for suicide prevention and mental health awareness to curb the rising spate of suicides across the country.
DenChukwu, who is also an Author and Filmmaker, made the call in an interview in Yenagoa noting that suicide was preventable.
She advocated the establishment of more specialized mental health facilities as well as capacity building for existing mental health practitioners alongside prioritizing mental health awareness to promote access to mental health facilities.
She noted that frequent reports of people committing suicide was worrisome and required concerted efforts to encourage people to seek mental health services as soon as the early warning signals of depression were noticed.
DenChukwu explained that the cultural practices that prevented people from admitting that depression was a medical condition with remedies and not a taboo should be discarded
She said that rising cases of suicide pointed to the poor mental health attitude in the society leading to avoidable deaths if preventive measures were not taken by seeking help..
According to her, at every point in time people are either contemplating suicide, attempting suicide or committing suicide due to several factors.
“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, delusion.
“We can all help prevent suicide because the warning signs are always there. I mean the signs and warning signals are always very glaring. We have to be 110% 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’s 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 matters, and can save a life. Encourage someone with suicide tendency to find a happy place they can always go to, and then, share with others.
“We should always be there to listen and not to judge and encourage them to share their thoughts, no matter how bad they may seem. Remind them of the strength and power they possess within to overcome,” she stressed.