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WHO launches campaign to stop suicide in Nigeria, other African countries

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has launched a campaign to raise awareness and spur action for suicide prevention in the African region, which according to…

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has launched a campaign to raise awareness and spur action for suicide prevention in the African region, which according to it, has the world’s highest rates of death by suicide.

According to it, around 11 people per 100,000 per year die by suicide in the African region, higher than the global average of nine per 100,000 people.

This is due in part to insufficient action to address and prevent the risk factors, including mental health conditions which currently affect 116 million people, up from 53 million in 1990, a statement by WHO says.

Consequently, ahead of World Mental Health Day on October 10, WHO launched a social media campaign aimed at reaching 10 million people across the region.

It is to raise public awareness and galvanise the support of governments and policymakers to increase focus and funding for mental health programming, including suicide prevention efforts.

Such efforts include equipping health workers to better support those dealing with suicidal thoughts and educating people who may experience these thoughts on where to go for help.

As well as sensitising the public on how to identify and help those in need and to help tackle the stigma associated with suicide, epilepsy, mental health conditions and alcohol and drug abuse.

The 2022 World Mental Health Day is being marked under the theme “Make Mental Health and Well-Being for All a Global Priority”.

It is to draw attention to the importance of mental health care and the need for better access to health services.

WHO says the African region is home to six of the 10 countries with the highest suicide rates worldwide.

According to it, the common means of suicide in the region are hanging and pesticide self-poisoning and to a lesser extent drowning, use of a firearm, jumping from a height or medication overdose.

Studies show that in Africa for each completed suicide, there are an estimated 20 attempted ones. (NAN)