Of late, there have been reports on a spate of suicides in the country. Last week, it was reported that a police officer committed suicide, and again this week we are hearing of another person taking his own life. While the causes of these suicides have not been made public, it certainly is a cause for alarm and concern.
The rising numbers of suicides now and is a symptom of a society with deep rooted problems. Therefore, society should look into itself and try to find the root cause, and thus a solution.
Suicide is mostly a sign of a society that is battling economic inequalities which in the long run lead to mental problems. The constant struggle to close the gap between the rich and the poor, the struggle to put food on the table, to solve the problems of health and everyday issues, can certainly lead to mental issues.
Our society is structured in such a way that we often miss the signs of someone struggling with difficulties. We often assume that everything is well and as such we fail to give assistance where it is needed. We need a campaign of soul searching to come up with solutions to our everyday problem. The psychologists in the country should come up with explanations as to how this keep happening and most importantly, how it should be avoided.
Indeed the repeated reports of people committing suicide are alarming and we must show the willingness to solve the underlying causes of the problem so as to have a shot at eradicating it once and for all. At present, there is a paucity of information regarding suicidal behaviour in The Gambia as in many African societies. This is regrettable given that suicidal behaviour is a growing social and public health problem in many African societies.