SHORT-LIVED ANGELS; SUICIDE AS A PUBLIC HEALTH PRIORITY
By Abanobi Nkachukwu .N
Moments of crisis or a breakdown in the ability to deal with life’s stress, coupled with mental health challenges (when unmanaged) may serve as a trigger to many suicidal ideations.
Suicide remains one of the leading causes of preventable deaths globally, the second leading cause of death among 15-24 year old’s worldwide (Danuta, et al., 2020), and the 4th leading cause of death among 15-19 year old’s (WHO, 2021).
The Global burden of suicide is estimated as:
- A cause-specific rate of 703,000 deaths globally, with 16,000,000 suicide attempts worldwide (WHO, 2021.,Danuta et al., 2020).
- Sex-specific rates of 10.5 per 100,000 people (males: 13.7 per 100,000; females 7.5 per 100,000) (WHO, 2021).
- An attributable risk of 77% in low- and middle-income countries in 2019 (WHO, 2021).
Prevention and control:
While social support networks are important for influencing health and wellness behaviour, and providing a conditioning effect on the relationship between environment and suicide prevention (Abanobi, 2010), other measures need to be taken at the population and subpopulation levels, including multi sectoral collaborations, awareness promotion, capacity building, surveillance, monitoring and evaluation in areas like:
- Social media footprint tracking for at-risk individuals, using keywords.
- Quick response system for identified users of chosen keywords
- Implementing WHO’s LIVE-LIFE approach to suicide prevention.
- Promoting work-life harmony among workers
- Prompt identification and follow up of individuals with display of suicidal behaviours.
September is world suicide awareness month, please talk to someone if the pressure is more than you can handle.