Suicide Prevention Is A Task That Must Be Accomplished – WHO

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The World Health Organisation has disclosed that Suicide, the fourth leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds, accounts for over 700,000 deaths globally every year with 77 percent of all global suicides occurring in low and middle-income countries.

The WHO Nigeria Country Representative, Walter Mulombo made the disclosure in a statement to mark this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day.

Every year, the World Suicide Prevention Day is commemorated on the 10th of September and this is aimed at raising the much needed awareness that suicide is preventable.

This year’s theme is “Creating hope through action” which serves as a reminder that there is an alternative to suicide.

Mulombo said 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.

According to him, the importance of setting suicide prevention as a priority public health agenda by countries cannot be overstated, particularly where access to mental health services and availability of evidence-based interventions are already low.

“I will like to remind us that suicide continues to remain a serious public health concern with a profound impact on all.

“For every suicide, there are likely 20 other people making a suicide attempt and many more have serious thoughts of suicide.”

While he insisted that Suicides are preventable with timely, evidence-based and often low-cost interventions, he maintained that 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.”

The Country Representative assured of WHO’s support for the country to implement priority activities towards mental health including suicide prevention and control.

He advocated that with the right partnerships and awareness creation through informed action, instances of suicide can be reduced to the barest minimum in and around the world.

“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.

“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,” Walter Mulombo urged.


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