The ability of an individual to cope with stress, contain his emotions, and other challenges of life reveals how healthy he is mental. A mental aberration occurs when our actions, thinking, and feelings are out of control or no longer ordered

In Nigeria as in most developing nations under financial crisis, a major cause of this mental health instability and depressions are financial issues such as unbearable pressure to meet up with responsibilities.

The high cost of living with low or no income has driven a lot of people into depression, some people get sunk deep in this depressed state and decide to end it all by taking their own lives.

The suicide rate has grown drastically in Nigeria from 2015 till date, as the economy dwindles rapidly and surviving becomes not only difficult, but near impossible for the larger population.

It is believed by The World Health Organisation (WHO) that more than 700,000 people commit suicide globally every year with 77 percent of all global suicides occurring in low and middle-income countries (like Nigeria).

Dr Walter Mulombo

Dr Walter Mulombo, W.H.O Country Representative to Nigeria, said this in a message to commemorate the 2022 World Suicide Prevention Day.

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

“Suicide is the fourth leading cause of deaths among 15 to 29-year-old people,’’ he said. This happen to be the age bracket of Nigerian youths who should be the hope and future of the Nation.

This figure does not exhaunorate the elderly as the pressure of surviving a declining economy is felt more by those with more responsibilities.

Every suicide is a tragedy that has an impact on the people left behind, families, communities, and the entire nation.

Nigeria has shown commitment to the target by first establishing the new National Mental Health Programme in ministry of health.

Dr Walter Mulombo said Nigeria has shown commitment to the target by first establishing the new National Mental Health Programme in ministry of health.

According to him, the ministry provided strategic leadership on mental health activities and also worked closely with the National Assembly to develop a new mental health bill which aligned with international standards.

For the society and families, it will be of great help to check on relatives and neighbors periodically as people sometimes tend to withdraw from peers and families, keep their deepest worries to themselves when they are depressed.

That call can be all that’s needed

Make a habit of checking on your relatives, giving them a listening ear no matter how irrelivant you assume their complains might be will give them a sense of belonging, enough to make them know they are not alone.

Signs to watch out for

Dr Walter Mulombo concluded my saying, “together, by raising awareness, reducing the stigma around suicide, and encouraging well-informed action, we can reduce instances of suicide in our country and inadvertently around the world,’’.

According to him, suicide remains a serious public health concern with a profound impact on all.


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