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Group raises concern over rising suicide cases

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The Suicide Research Prevention Initiative (SURPIN) has raised concern over rising suicide cases in the country.

According to the World Health Organisation, 800,000 people die by suicide every year.

To mark this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day, SURPIN is holding an e-conference on September 12 with the theme, ‘Together Towards Collaborative Resilience’.

Consultant Psychiatrist and coordinator, SURPIN, Dr. Raphael Ogbolu, said that in 2012 in Nigeria, the rate of suicide was 6.5, but increased to 9.5 in 2015.

He said: “Presently, this is official rate and we hope at the end of 2020, it will be updated. This increase is why the World Health Organisation is concerned. There is a need to raise more awareness on this issue.

“This year has been plagued with COVID- 19 just like other countries around the world and attendant uncertainty, disruption of previous normal way of living has tasked the resilience of people which led to other factors like suicide.”

Ogbolu said he was worried that there might be a second wave as people begin to face the financial impact of the coronavirus lockdown.

He said: “The single largest contributor to suicide is untreated clinical depression and that is why addressing clinical depression is one of the ways to address suicide. Other factors are chronic medical conditions, hopelessness, job loss, marital conflicts, academic challenges and other life stressors.

“To help save lives, SURPIN is present in 32 states with over 100 professionals who are ready to offer help. We have the support of the Lagos State Ministry of Social Welfare, National Directorate of Employment and hope to work with other government agencies. Every six months we update our hotlines to make life better and reach more people.”


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