Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death. Some of the common risk factors include mental disorders, depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, personality disorders, substance abuse, alcoholism and the use of benzodiazepines.
In 2015, suicides resulted in 828,000 deaths globally, an increase from 712,000 deaths in 1990. This makes suicide the 10th leading cause of death worldwide.
Approximately 0.5percent of people die by suicide. In a given year this is roughly 12 per 100,000 people. Three quarters of suicides globally occur in the low and middle income countries. Rates of completed suicides are generally higher among men than among women, ranging from 1.5 times as much in the developing world to 3.5 times in the developed world.
In Nigeria, the alarming rate of suicide is a call for concern. Both the government and civil society organisations need to rise to the occasion of finding a solution to it.
In recent years, hundreds of people including undergraduates have committed suicide in the country for various reasons, ranging from poor academic performance, unemployment, failure of relationship with opposite sex, failure in business and so on.
At this point, the government at both the state and federal level need to declare a state of emergency on suicide to prevent further loss of lives of citizens who are very much needed to contribute their quota to the development of the country.
The National Orientation Agency must wake up from its slumber. The major reason why most people consider suicide as an option to facing life challenges is because some of them do not understand the consequences of their actions.
NOA should educate people on why they should not see suicide as an option no matter the challenges they are facing. They should be made to understand that committing suicide is not just a loss to their families, but a loss to the country at large.
Also, both the state and the local government should maintain a functional counseling unit in all the hospitals across the country where people with emotional issues can be taken care of.
Currently, most of the hospitals across the country do not have good counseling unit while others do not even have a counseling unit.
Furthermore, we encourage the government at all levels to partner with NGOs and relevant agencies like the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in educating people on the dangers of drug abuse.
Life is precious and that is why the government must strive to protect the lives of its citizens. In this regard, effort should be made to ensure that the issue of unemployment is addressed. This should be followed by ensuring that workers are paid as when due and making the environment conducive for living.