As the world commemorates this year’s Suicide Prevention Day, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that globally, over 700,000 people commit suicide annually with 77 per cent of all global suicides occurring in low-and-middle-income countries.
WHO country representative in Nigeria, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, stated this at a press briefing in commemoration of the 2022 World Suicide Prevention Day, with the theme, ‘Creating Hope Through Action’ in Abuja.
World Suicide Prevention Day is commemorated on the 10th of September every year. The aim is to raise the much needed awareness that suicide is preventable.
Mulombo said for every suicide, there are likely 20 other people making a suicide attempt and many more have serious thoughts of suicide.
“Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15–29-year-olds,” he said.
He, however, said that this year’s theme serves as a reminder that there is an alternative to suicide, adding that the theme also aspires to inspire confidence and light in all, aims to empower individuals to be in charge of their lives and value the one life they have.
He noted that the World Health Assembly adopted the Mental Health Action Plan 2013 – 2020 and identified suicide prevention as an important priority for achieving the global target of reducing the rate of suicide in countries by 10 per cent by 2020 while commending Nigeria for showing commitment to this target by first of all establishing the new National Mental Health Programme in the Federal Ministry of Health.
He said the established programme in the Federal Ministry of Health was to provide strategic leadership on mental health activities and also worked closely with the National Assembly to develop a new Mental Health Bill which aligns with international standards.
“We are all eagerly awaiting the assent of this bill by the President of Federal Government of Nigeria.
“As WHO we pledge to continue supporting the country to implement priority activities towards mental health including suicide prevention and control. In the coming weeks, we will be supporting the review and update of the 2013 National Mental Health Policy, development of a national framework for suicide prevention and commemoration of the 2022 World Mental Health Day,” said Mulombo.