There have been yet another set of suicide reports in the news both home and abroad. Two well known celebrities recently commuted suicide. Also, a woman was reported to have jumped over the third mainland bridge in Lagos just this week.
It is disheartening that this year alone; a lot of suicides and suicide attempts are in the news while there are some that didn’t reach the media.
At a press briefing last year, The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris stated that suicide can be committed by people of all ages. He listed it’s common causes as inability to deal with life stresses such as; financial problems, relationship breakup, chronic pain and illness. Individuals experiencing conflicts, disaster, violence, abuse or loss and a sense of isolation exhibit suicidal behavior.
Suicide rates are also high amongst vulnerable groups who experience discrimination such as refugees, migrants and prisoners. It is, however, important to note that depression tops the list of common causes of suicides.
According to him, depression is a common mental disorder. Common characteristics are sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of tiredness and poor concentration.
“Globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression. It is the leading cause of disability worldwide. And it is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease,” he said.
Apparently, depression affects more women than men. It can be long-lasting or recurrent, substantially impairing an individual’s ability to function at work or school or cope with daily life and can have devastating consequences for families, friends, communities and workplaces.
He stressed the need for coordination and collaboration amongst various sectors of the society including health, education, labour, justice, law, politics and the media, explaining that people suffering from depression need support to be courageous, come out to talk about it and shun the fear of stigmatization and discrimination.
He disclosed that the State Government has set up help lines – 08058820777 and 09030000741 – through which residents can ask questions, make inquiries and seek help from professionals early enough to allow for appropriate intervention.
“I must stress that there are people available to help. So, “Let’s Talk” …if you are a student, “Let’s Talk”, if you are a parent, “Let’s Talk”, “If you feel alone in the world, Let’s Talk,” he said.
Whatever it is you might be going through will pass. It might not feel like that at the time but it will. All you need to do is talk to someone about it and never forget the God factor.
Please, take care of yourself. Pay attention to how you feel and get help when you need to.
Check on family and friends as well. You never really know how they are or what they’re going through until you ask and offer a listening ear. The world is not better off without you. The world is a much better place with you in it. Cheers!