The world’s suicide rates keep increasing at such an alarming rate with this cause of death competing with malaria, war and homicide.
The world Health organization report titled “Suicide in the world: Global Health Estimates” shows that Suicide is among the top twenty leading causes of death. It also shows that Nigeria tops African countries having the highest suicide rates.
For Nigeria, WHO said 17,710 cases of suicide were recorded in 2016 at all ages.
Of these number of cases, 8,410 were females while 9,300 were males. The percentage ratio of men to women was 53:47.
The figure puts Nigeria as the leading country in the African region. It was followed by Ethiopia and South Africa with 7,323 and 6,476 cases respectively.
In the world, the top five countries were being led by India with more 2,15 000 cases in 2016, followed by China that had a total of 136,267 cases.
The other three countries in the top five are America, the Russian Federation and Japan. Nigeria is the sixth-highest globally.
Japan of these countries faced by this spike in suicide rates has made an attempt to curb this problem by appointing a minister for loneliness. What is the relationship between loneliness and suicide? Being lonely can lead to thoughts that creates the condition for depression and in worse cases, suicide itself.
The role of this Japanese Minister for loneliness is to reduce loneliness and social isolation that serves as the backbone for suicidal thoughts and attempts.
While many seem ridiculous to many in Nigeria, the rate of suicide is alarming. Maybe we don’t need a ministerial post for this but we need a proper institutional structure to tackle loneliness and depression the two root causes of suicide.
Initiatives should be created to encourage speaking up whenever someone feels depressed or in any form loneliness and socially isolated from others. Programmes with proper counselling units and groups were people who fought depression and loneliness or who are still fighting can come together and talk about it and how they are fighting it.
The government should also collaborate with the non-government organization that offer mental health services in order to curb this form of illness. Forms of support like government policies and funding such as grants can go a long way in helping these non-governmental organisation fight off this blood-sucking monster called Suicide.
Suicide rates can be reduced if the government takes the routes and find other possible routes like Communication to accompany this and fight off the root causes causing the spike in suicide rates.