Did You Know That September Is Suicide Prevention Month?
It looks far, yet near. The awareness has started as early as now because of the high number of cases reported every day. Corona had made it even worse. Most people have lost their jobs, loved ones among other valuables. This has made others lose hope hence committing suicide. Sad times indeed.
Every 10th of September, the world comes together to raise awareness on suicide and how every individual can take part to prevent it.
Most organizations including the ministries of health from different countries came to an agreement that the awareness should not only, be done on a single day, but make the month of September as World suicide prevention month.
Dr. Anne Njuguna who works in Moi Teaching and Referral hospital, the mental department says “Suicide cases are reported on a daily basis, and the rise is alarming. People of different ages are committing suicide including children”
“The recent case reported here was a 6-year-old girl who committed suicide because her mother could not afford 500 shillings for her school tour”, adds Njuguna.
According to Dr. Njuguna, all this is as a result of mental illness.
“When one contemplates suicide, the idea is generated from the brain. This person needs mental help. That is why 10th October; we also create awareness on mental health. These two months marry each other, they are related” explains Dr. Njuguna.
Bilha Nyariki, a 36-year-old widow and a mother of three whose husband committed suicide in 2014 explains the pains of losing a loved one through suicide.
“When my husband lost his job, he could not take the fact that he could no longer provide for his family. So he went into depression, something I did not realize because I was busy making ends meet, now taking the role of a breadwinner”, narrates Bilha.
“He became withdrawn to every good thing he liked doing. Then one day, I received a call from a neighbor to rush back home, there was an emergency”…pauses Bilha.
“When I reached, I found my husband hanging on a rope in our bedroom, he had committed suicide”, narrates Bilha with so much grief.
According to Dr. Njuguna, there are so many things that may cause someone to commit suicide.
“Loss of valuables including job, beloved, finance among others can make someone commit suicide if the person is not counseled” explains Dr. Njuguna.
“Other things include a family history of suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, depression, hopelessness, isolation/stigmatization among others”, adds Dr. Njuguna.
What are the symptoms of a suicidal person?
According to the research done by WHO, there are symptoms of a suicidal person. This includes;
- They become withdrawn. They avoid family, friends, loses interest in activities they loved doing.
- They despair. They feel like a burden to society.
- They have mood swings and sometimes lack of sleep.
- Some start abusing drugs and alcohol and acting recklessly.
- They make plans and sometimes share their plans with friends or social media.
According to Mrs. Cecilia Musimbi, a psychologist from Moi teaching and referral hospital, there are ways we can prevent suicide in our society.
“Accepting people the way they are without stigmatizing them based on their situations can prevent suicide. Offering support to mental illness individuals, help in problem/conflict solving, and being there for these people can save a whole lot” explains Mrs. Musimbi.
Let us normalise opening up whenever we experience problems. Sometimes it is good to lower our expectations. We can make a difference in other people’s lives.
You have said it. Let us speak out.