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Mental Health

Suicide Prevention: Mental Healthcare Providers Need Better Environment – NGO

Trauma Awareness and Resilience Initiative, a non-governmental organisation, has called on the Federal Government to urgently address issues surrounding mental health and create an enabling environment for healthcare providers.

The National Coordinator of the body, Mr. Francis Onyekwue, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Abuja, to commemorate World Suicide Prevention Day.

The World Suicide Prevention Day is celebrated every September 10, and that the theme for 2023 is ‘Creating Hope through Action’.

The theme serves as a reminder that suicide prevention is a public health priority, and urgent action is required to make sure suicide mortality rates are reduced.

Onyekwue said the government should train more community healthcare workers, which would reach the people at the community level, raise awareness, and educate them about suicide and its effects on the family and community.

“Several mental health problems have been associated with an increased risk of suicide, such as alcoholism, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and emotional stress.

“Various reasons such as old age, chronic diseases, financial problems, family history of suicides, loss of income, marital separation, negative life experiences and physical illness leading to disability, among others, might contribute to suicide acts,” he said.

Read Also: Suicide: Mental Health Awareness Can Curb Rising Cases

He, however, said governments, corporate bodies, policymakers, local communities, families, and individuals, should contribute to building hope by creating more awareness and promoting alternatives to suicide.

Onyekwue said there was need to support all those who had lost their loved ones to suicides, and those at risk, and those who had survived it.

“It is important to know that before someone commits suicide, there is always an announcement by the individual, but we do not take them seriously until it happens.

“Under the theme of ‘Creating Hope Through Action’, we continue to strive to encourage understanding and compassion by lending a helping hand and giving a listening ear.

“We at Trauma Awareness and Resilience (TAR) Initiative, will continue to work with partners, state and non-state actors, to ensure that suicide is reduced to the barest minimum,” he added.

Onyekwue called on caregivers, counsellors, and service providers, among others to give hope to people through empathy, effective communication, and by letting them know that they are not alone in their trying times.

“It is our duty to be each other’s keeper. We should try and give hope by being there for them and providing all the necessary information they need in terms of accessing services and providers.