SUICIDE PREVENTION : Food Festival Used To Create Awareness

Suicide prevention has been the subject of discussion at different levels recently. This is due to the choice of this year’s theme for the world mental health day celebration on 10th October, which was centered on suicide prevention. The world health organization (WHO) set aside such a day to create a massive awareness of suicide and suicide prevention owing to the rising numbers of reported suicide cases globally. It was in view of this that Medtrend Health on Saturday in Kaduna, sought to create health awareness and find out what Nigerians have to say on the matter being discussed.

This took place during a food festival event hosted by Chef Ritchie at Space 2000, Barnawa Kaduna, which gathered over 100 young people who came to enjoy themselves with a wide array of delicacies provided by the chef and the entertainment provided by different performing comedy and music artistes.

Hope is the Best Prevention Against Suicide

Speaking on the subject of suicide prevention among young people during the food festival, Medtrend Health led by Mr. Martins Arage said, “preventing suicide is a collaborative effort and will involve all hands to be on deck for success to be achieved at community, national and global levels. Individuals, family members, community neighbours, government and other non-government bodies must be seen working together to prevent suicide especially among young people in Nigeria.” He added that hope is the best prevention against suicide. If hope is kept alive, many young people will be saved from suicidal tendencies.

“Don’t suffer in silence. If you are going through emotional, psychological, financial or other forms of difficulties that are putting so much pressure on you, find someone you trust and talk about how you are feeling. And if you know people who are distraught because of the circumstance or trauma they are facing, make effort to get in touch with them and reassure them everything will be alright and that they are not alone. This will help restore hope in them and keep such people from suicidal thoughts,” Mr. Arage concluded.

What Others Had To Say

Mr. Zagwa Simon, one of the participants of the food festival who spoke with Medtrend Health correspondent also gave his contributions on preventing suicide among young people in Nigeria. “Suicide is a menace that is gradually eating deep into our society. We need to collectively work together to fight this menace.”

Another participant, Barrister Beauty, who also spoke to Medtrend Health correspondent added, “recently, this has been a trend in the country due to hardship. The economic hardship in the country is too much and even those trying to start up businesses are not finding it easy. It is good for us to continue creating awareness that will help people in preventing suicide.” Government has a role to play in the fight against suicide. Barrister Beauty added that government should collaborate more with smaller organizations that can step down health awareness at community levels and places of worship to have a better outreach to individuals.

Still on the role of government in the fight against suicide, Mr. Daniel Udeh spoke to Medtrend Health correspondent. “Mental health is something that is not given much attention to as compared to other issues like maternal and child health. Government, particularly the legislative has a big role to play. Reforms and policies should be made which will help promote mental health in the country with enough support given to civil society, private voluntary organizations and other stakeholders who are passionate about creating health awareness on mental health issues.” Mr. Udeh added, “it will be good to also have mental health awareness incorporated into the entertainment industry since a lot of young people can be reached through this platform.”

The food festival hosted by chef Ritchie ended on a good note with many of the participants expressing how they’ve enjoyed themselves and advise that suicide is not the way out. People who isolate themselves and withdraw from social interactions and hobbies they previously enjoy should not be neglected especially if they recently or are currently experiencing emotional and psychological trauma.

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