‘Paying attention to mental health key to checking rising suicide cases’
The President of the Rotary Club of Abuja Maitama, Rtn. Ijeoma Joyce Agwu, yesterday, asked Nigerians to pay attention to their mental health to halt the increasing rate of suicide in the country.
She also pleaded with Nigerians to lend a hand of support to those with emotional challenges, noting that suicide rates can be reduced drastically if individuals feel safe and supported.
Agwu gave the advice at the club’s campaign to mark the 2023 World Suicide Prevention Day in Jabi Lake Park, Abuja.
She said: “We gathered here not only to raise awareness about the critical issue of suicide prevention, but also to create hope through our actions.
“Suicide is a global concern that affects individuals, families, and communities, transcending borders, cultures, and socioeconomic backgrounds. It is a tragedy that leaves behind immeasurable pain and loss.”
She, therefore, urged Nigerians to pay attention to their mental health and those they live or work with.
She also explained why the Rotary International has been promoting mental health.
She said: “Let us be advocates for change, let us work towards a society that values mental well-being and let us support those who are vulnerable.
“On this World Suicide Prevention Day, which is commemorated on September 10, every year all over the world and which is a focal point this Rotary year with the theme, “Create Hope in the World”, we reaffirm our dedication to this cause.
“We recognise that in order to prevent suicide, we must address the underlying factors that contribute to it. It requires a multidimensional approach that encompasses mental health awareness, support systems, access to resources, and destigmatisation of seeking help.
“Through our awareness campaign, educational programmes, and community outreaches, we strive to break the silence surrounding mental health.
“We aim to create an environment where individuals feel safe and supported; where they can openly discuss their struggles, and where seeking help is seen as a sign of strength, not weakness.”
She said that every Nigerian can help prevent suicide in the society by lending a hand to those with emotional challenge.
On her part, the Chairperson of the Mental Health Committee of the club, Rtn Hasiya Adamu-Biu said the global suicide rate was alarming.
Quoting the World Health Organisation, she said that deaths by suicide occur every 40 seconds.
“This data is staggering, and it makes the need for suicide prevention awareness very important.”
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