By Onome Ighomefe
Burdened by the rising cases of suicide among youths in Nigeria, the Chief Medical Director, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Idi-Araba, Prof. Chris Bode, has called on all stakeholders to proffer lasting solution to curb the menace he described as “worrisome.”
Bode, who was represented by the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), Prof. Wasiu Adeyemo, noted that the phenomenon needed to be curtailed, as social media have increased the awareness level of suicide cases in the country.
Speaking during the 2019 World Suicide Prevention Symposium held in Lagos, Bode explained that as part of the measures put in place to address the menace by LUTH, the Suicide Research and Prevention Initiative (SURPIN) was established with three important elements in social change, which include agitation, innovation and orchestration.
He said, “Agitation without innovation is useless, and that is not enough to be an agitator without being an innovator. SURPIN is now at the orchestration stage; LUTH would continue to give them support.
“SURPIN had identified some reasons why people commit suicide, which gender was committing it more and had understanding that there must be a unique problem that made people to commit suicide.”
He urged parents to learn to be friends of their children by spending quality time with them in order to know more about their feelings and emotions.
Also, Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr. Kafayat Ogunsola, noted that mental disorder accounts for 90 per cent of rampant suicide cases in Nigeria, adding that there is need to understand why people are committing suicide.
“90 per cent of cases of suicide occurs as a result of mental disorder; it is as a result of depression. There are some personalities in certain individual; things happen to us from time to time and our ability to cope or deal with it is one of the reasons or determines who is able to overcome.
“We need to understand why people are committing suicide, as well ad to understand the gender that commits it more, and what were the reasons, relationship, mental disorder and that is what we have been able to analyse in our research.
“We have done a lot of collaborations with organisations like the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), much more that we can do to curtail suicide in Nigeria.
“There is also something called resilience, which simply means that everybody knows that I can bounce back from whatever it is that comes my way,’’ Ogunsola said. The consultant psychiatrist said many people go through some adversities or sorts, noting that when equipped with the right idea, they will overcome. “Mental disorder is a factor in our environment, people tend to stigmatise patients by defining it in mysterious ways.’’
She noted that aside mental disorder; other factors contributing to suicidal increase are relationship break up, economic hardship, unemployment and financial issues.