No fewer than 700,000 people commit suicide annually all over the world, the World Health Organization, has said.
It said 77% of all global suicides occurring in low-and-middle-income countries, adding that for every suicide, there are likely 20 other people making a suicide attempt and many more have serious thoughts of suicide.
WHO added that suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15–29-year-olds.
Its Country Representative, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo made these known in his message to commemorate the 2022 World Suicide Prevention Day on the 10th of September.
He said this year’s theme is “Creating hope through action” and serves as a reminder that there is an alternative to suicide.
He 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. Creating hope through action highlights the importance of setting suicide prevention as a priority public health agenda in countries, mainly where access to mental health services and availability of evidence-based interventions are already low.
“Every suicide is a tragedy that has an impact on the people left behind, families, communities, and the entire nation. I will begin by commending the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire and his team for their commitment to suicide prevention in Nigeria.
“Suicides are preventable with timely, evidence-based and often low-cost interventions. A comprehensive multisectoral suicide prevention strategy is needed for national responses to be effective.
“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 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 Fed6eral Government of Nigeria”, he said.
He pledged the support of WHO to continue supporting the country to implement priority activities toward mental health including suicide prevention and control.
He said that WHO, in the coming weeks will be supporting the review and update of the 2013 National Mental Health Policy, the development of a national framework for suicide prevention and the commemoration of the 2022 World Mental Health Day.
He added:” In conclusion, 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. 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. I want to remind us that suicide continues to remain a serious public health concern with a profound impact on all”.