The House of Representatives Thursday urged the Ministry of Health to devise a strategy to address the underlying mental health factors causing rising cases of suicide in the country.
It also sought a review of the mental health laws to strengthen mental healthcare services to Nigerians to reduce the rate of suicide.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Jonathan Gaza Gbefwi (APC, Nasarawa) who said: “there’s a prevalence of suicide cases in Nigeria, especially among youths between the ages of 15-29 years in the country in recent times.
He said statistics were showing that one-fifth of suicide cases were of persons aged 13-19 years and over 50 percent of the crisis calls received through hotlines were from youths aged 13-29 and 27.8 percent of them were students.
He said: “According to the National Bureau of Statistics, suicides and attempted suicide cases recorded in the 36 states of the Federation, including the FCT, were 333 and 196 respectively as of 2017, while other reports show that about 80 persons ended their lives between April 8, 2017, and May 12, 2019.”
He said socio-economic factors were contributing largely to mental illness like depression, anxiety disorders and others which “are on the increase and are the leading causes of suicide in Nigeria.”