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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Tackling suicide

Suicide is a problem that has confronted mankind from time immemorial, and it has become a common theme in the postmodern narrative. While other parts of the world are grappling with increasing rates of suicide, The Gambia is no exception even though on a lower scale.


According to statistics, over one million people die by suicide worldwide each year. The global suicide rate is 16 per 100,000 of the population. On average, one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds somewhere in the world.1.8% of worldwide deaths are suicides. And global suicide rates have increased 60% in the past 45 years. 


These statistics call for serious reflection. The life of each and every one person is sacred and inviolable. Thus it must be protected and cherished. Suicides are not isolated incidents that happen because there are no means to save its victims. Rather they are usually not brought into public discourse in the policy making halls or in the religious circles .Even when it is discussed it is among the marginal details that are easily dispelled with the wave of a hand.


When we probe the major causes of suicides around the world, we are sure to discover that it isn’t far from home. Explanations that are usually proffered in our part of the world are too simplistic as to the foundational causes of this menace. Notions such as witchcraft are readily advanced when in the overwhelming majority of cases they could have been averted from the initial stage before a man claims his own life.


Tired of life’s challenges coupled with stinging lack of support and counseling, many young people see the act of suicide as the only relief to their suffering.


Drugs abuse is the major cause of mental imbalance among the youthful populace. The fight against all forms of mental health problems must as a necessity mobilise tools and resources for the lessening and eradication of drug abuse in our society. 


We need rehabilitation centers to help those who are victims of the ravaging impacts of drugs .This will help save many of our youths who are addicted to drugs and substances. Thefore, further support to the country’s only psychiatric hospital Tanka Tanka is highly essential. 


In this drive to combat mental illness, we must do more to make available spots and hubs, which would serve as places of escape for those that need therapy as well as company that is both healthy and productive. 


Another key element in the fight against the rising tide of suicide is the establishment of counseling centers in every health facility in the country. Many potential suicides can be averted when people have the help of a psychologist. Hotlines are also essential as obtains in more developed countries so that witnesses can call in and report cases before they happen.


Religious and spiritual leaders in our communities should also break the silence about suicide and work with the people in substantially slashing and stopping the surge. Sermons should be delivered in mosques and churches for young people to benefit from a richer spiritual environment where they can be sensitised to stay away from drugs. Religion is supposed to make living meaningful and worthy, and when it’s not doing that then the theological failure rest upon those appointed to render it unto people. 


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