Nigeria has one of the highest rates of suicide in Africa and there has been an increase in the incidence of suicide in Nigeria over the years.
In 2016, approximately 30, 000 people took their lives in Nigeria according to the World Health Organization. This information might come as a surprise to some as there is this belief that Nigerians are “the happiest people in the world”.
Why do people commit suicide?
There is no single explanation for why people take their own lives. Often there can be a combination of different factors why people commit suicide.
Most commonly, people commit suicide as a result of mental illnesses such as depression and psychosis.
Occasionally socio-economic difficulties such as debt, and unemployment can result in a feeling of hopelessness in many people.
Also in an environment like ours, people, especially women can suffer abuse from family members and this can result in a feeling of isolation.
Can suicide be prevented?
There are different approaches that can be taken in order to prevent people from committing suicide. These include making improvements to mental health care as a society, improving people’s access and reducing the barriers that prevent people from seeking help.
There is also a need to improve the awareness of mental health in society in order to reduce the stigma associated with mental health conditions.
If you or someone you know have suicidal thoughts or feelings of hopelessness, speak to a trusted friend or a medical professional who would be able to listen and provide suitable help.