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Artiste tasks FG to expedite action on suicide prevention

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Psalm Ebube

Suicide prevention advocate and Gospel artiste, Samuel Akinyemi a.k.a Psalm Ebube has lamented the growing rate of suicide among youths and adults in Nigeria.

The artiste who was honoured as African Civility Educator of the year 2021 by I Change Nations (ICN) USA, a global body, called for a national suicide prevention strategy which will work towards the goal of suicide reduction.

“The absence of such strategy is not only stalling the management and control efforts of suicide but fuelling stigmatisation and discrimination towards survivors and their relatives. Creating an enabling environment for suicide prevention in Nigeria through legislation requires urgent overhaul of our criminal legal system that will decriminalise suicide/attempted suicide, passage of the mental health bill that will promote mental well-being and ensure access to treatment of mental disorders.

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“Prevention means community awareness programmes which involve helplines and public education at workplaces and schools to increase knowledge and reduce stigma. Programmes draw on lay gatekeepers such as clergy, teachers and first-line responders who receive special training. Involving and training laypersons or non-specialised health professionals is an important means of suicide prevention, assessment, and management,” he said.

Recall that a 200-level student of the Faculty of Administration from Obafemi Awolowo University OAU, Adedeji Emmanuel last week committed suicide by drinking poison. There have been other reported cases of young people commiting suicide in recent times.

Psalm Ebube, founder of Stay Alive Civility Global Initiative and author of the book series, ‘Stay Alive’ tasked relevant arms of government to act with urgency to tackle this problem.

According to the WHO, about 3.0 percent of Nigerians will have thoughts about ending their lives during their lifetime while some will plan and actually go through with it. With an average of 15.1 suicides per 100,000 yearly, Nigeria is ranked 15th most suicide-prone nation in the world and seventh most at risk in Africa.

“Prioritising and tackling suicide, while providing leadership and guidance on the key evidence-based suicide prevention interventions is the way to holistically tackle suicide,” he said.

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