Working Together To Prevent Suicide Among Young People

Every suicide is a tragedy that affects families and communities with long-lasting effects on those people left behind. In recent times, Nigeria has experienced an increase in the number of suicides recorded, especially among young people. It has therefore, become necessary for us to talk about suicide and work together to prevent suicide among young people in Nigeria.

This year, the World Health Organization (WHO) have declared the 2019 World Mental Health Day (10th October), to be centered on suicide prevention. This day has been set aside to create massive global health awareness about suicide and its prevention, so that individuals, families, communities and governments can further strengthen efforts to prevent suicide and in ensuring the alleviation of suicide in the world.

In the light of this global initiative, this article highlights some of few important things you should know and should do in joining the fight against suicide. Knowing these things and sharing the information with others can help save a life from suicide somewhere.

5 Suicide Facts You Should Know

  1. Suicide is a global public health issue that affects people of all ages.
  2. Up to 1 million people die by suicide every year globally.
  3. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people aged 15 – 29.
  4. In Nigeria, 9.5 young people out of every 100,000 people are likely to die by suicide.
  5. Suicide is preventable.

5 Leading Triggers Of Suicide Among Young People

The greater percentage of victims commit suicide by self-poisoning with pesticides and insecticides. Other methods victims use include hanging, firearms and jumping. Most victims commit suicide due to one or more of the following triggers:

  1. Mental health issues like depression and drug addiction.
  2. Loss of a loved one such as spouse, children, parent, or relative.
  3. Bad relationship break-ups and teenage/unprepared pregnancies.
  4. Hardships in life such as financial difficulties, failure, school pressure, and other stresses of life.
  5. Physical, verbal and sexual abuse.

5 Early Warning Signs of Suicidal Behaviours You Should Know

Anyone recently or currently affected by these triggers of suicide should be watched closely for any of these suicidal behaviours and help should be provided immediately.

  1. Excessive and prolonged sadness or moodiness.
  2. Not sleeping at night, not eating and no longer cares about their appearance.
  3. Isolation (choosing to be alone and avoiding friends, social activities and hobbies previously enjoyed).
  4. Dangerous and self-harmful behaviours which indicate he/she no longer values their life like reckless driving, involving in fights, drug abuse, unsafe sex e.t.c.
  5. Unusual conversations and behaviours suggestive of suicide like calling family members to say goodbye, giving away personal items, making or writing suicidal comments and notes, e.t.c.

5 Things You Can Do To Help Save a Life From Sucide

Hope is the best prevention against suicide : If you keep hope alive, hope will keep you alive. Therefore you can join the fight to prevent suicide by providing hope to someone else through your words, kind support and your presence with them during difficult moments in life.

Here are some tips :

  1. Don’t suffer in silence! If you are struggling, find someone you trust you can talk to about how you are feeling. The person can be a family member, friend, mentor, a doctor or a therapist.
  2. If you know someone who is struggling emotionally or psychologically due to any of the triggers of suicide, get in touch with the person. Ask how they are feeling and start a hopeful conversation with them.
  3. If you are a leader at work or part of any group, cultivate the habit of providing messages of support and hope to those you are leading and those around you. You never can tell who may be struggling in silence that your words will be helping.
  4. Help raise public awareness on suicide and suicide prevention.
  5. Seek for professional emotional and psychological help if you notice any suicidal behavior in anyone.

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