Suicide is a serious public health issue that has an impact on individuals, families, and communities all around the world. It is a complicated phenomenon with profound psychological, societal and environmental implications. Understanding the causes, and knowing how to provide support could all help to prevent suicide and give hope to individuals in crisis.
Suicide has become one of the top causes of death worldwide, especially among young people. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 700,000 people die by suicide each year. Suicide has far-reaching consequences for families, friends, and communities, as well as the severe loss of life.
Suicide never occurs on a single factor, instead, it comes from a complicated interaction of numerous variables which includes; mental disorder, trauma and abuse, misuse of substances, social isolation and socio-economic factors among others.
Preventive measures
To prevent such a health issue from happening, there is the need for an all-inclusive approach that includes individuals, communities and organizations.
Here are a few strategies that can help reduce the number of suicide cases that occur yearly;
First of all, such people can be taken to the nearest mental health unit of any hospital or health centre for treatment, counselling or the required medications offered to help deal with the situation.
Secondly, there is the need to raise public awareness, that is; organizing education programmes to conscientise the society of suicide warning signals and how to respond, all geared towards reducing the stigmatisation of suicide as well r65
as encouraging people to seek help early.
Another strategy could also be through a supportive network; including family and friends to provide emotional support to persons who are at risk.
Reduction in suicide weapons
Despite all the above-mentioned strategies, there is also the need to find means of limiting access to typical suicide weapons such as knives, hazardous drugs etc.
It is worth mentioning that people who have attempted or failed in their bid to commit suicide need to be watched over or there should be follow-up care by offering mental health assistance and developing safety measures.
One critical issue is that to support people who are contemplating committing suicide, one does not need to be judgemental so they can communicate their feelings and worries to you without interruption.
People offering such help could be direct and bold to ask them what they were contemplating or thinking about suicide so they could give the right support to them. Direct questions can provide clarity and show that they care about them.
It is always important to note that people contemplating suicide should not be left to stay alone but should have company at all times so they do not go ahead and execute their hidden agenda.
Professional support
I would like to reiterate that the role of professionals in managing suicide is very critical to reducing such cases. It is therefore prudent to engage the services of mental health personnel as soon as one gets wind of a relative thinking of committing suicide.
Call a mental health professional, a crisis hotline or even an emergency service.
Then do a follow-up, that is, continuously checking and providing assistance to the victim.
In summary, suicide is an awful occurrence that highlights the importance of mental health treatment, social support, and public awareness. Understanding the causes and how to provide support can help prevent suicide and give those in need some hope to live. Remember that reaching out and providing a lifeline can help save lives. If you or someone you know or love is struggling, don’t be afraid to seek assistance or help. Let’s all join hands to help save lives.
By: Mavis Anokye Mensah
Faculty of Journalism and Media Studies

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