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Not Suicide

The Nigerian youth hitherto had been looked upon as a bastion of hope, seen as a leader of tomorrow and at best -the nation’s pride. Parents went extra length in providing and training their wards and saw it as a worthwhile investment and are willing to stake their last dime for rewards of a better tomorrow.

All of these expectations have been blighted with the recent once too many incidences of suicides carried out by youths in their prime. This has continued unabated and if nothing is done to checkmate this ugly trend, then we are in for more tales of woe.

Based on statistics, on 29th July 2019, Spectator Index published a World Health Organization Journal, placing Nigeria fifth with 15,000 suicide in every 100,000 suicides. A rather disturbing numbers that must be reversed at all cost.

Coming back home, the picture is indeed grim.

Sometime in May 2019, The case of a 300 level Medical student from Niger Delta University (Uzaka Ebiweni)-reportedly dived into Amassoma river and drowned because he was among the 22 students shortlisted to be withdrawn for failing the first MB exams

May 15, 2019, a 22-year-old Chukwuemeka Akachi a final year English and Literary student of UNN finally succeeded in killing himself after drinking two bottles of ‘sniper’. Although his case was that of someone battling with mental illness.

The last was not heard as regards suicide as 17 year old Amos Ibrahim in Jos, Plateau state chose sniper on May 14th, his reason was based on the frustration that he failed 2019 UTME.

On the same date, Kenile Nwabuzor took her own life owing to a toxic relationship with her boyfriend.

Olaitan Gbadamosi, 18, went the ways of the others.. A 100 UNIPORT undergraduate, her suicide note revealed she was fighting bouts of depression.

May 13 in Ogun state a suicide was foiled as Segun could not cope with the frustration for repeatedly failing UTME.

These reported suicide cases seem to have a similar thread running through them namely depression and its attendant cousins as causatives to include;

  • Terminal diseases(mental illness etc)
  • Frustration
  • Absence of societal core values(worship of money/material, undue hype of paper qualification, loss of sense of shame, absence of dignity of labour)

 

  • Depression; a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest-could be expressed through any of the below mentioned;
  1. Abuse-past physical, sexual or emotional abuse
  2. Use of certain medications-also check or research into side effects
  3. Conflict-Personal conflicts or disputes with family members or friends
  4. Death or loss
  5. Genetics-a family history of depression may increase the risk
  6. Personal problems e,g social isolation due to mental illness or cast out of a family or social group can contribute to the risk of developing depression
  7. Substance abuse-even if the drugs or alcohol gives a temporary feel, they ultimately aggravate depression.
suicide

Life’s adventure is certainly not for the lilly-livered and there exist no known short-cuts without its own repercussions. Help has always been availed individuals who make conscious effort at life than for others who resign without giving life a fight. We have always been admonished in the old cliché ‘The best approach is to make lemonades when life tosses at us lemons and not for us to want to take the easy and lazy way out’

It is our fervent wish to see to the reduction of these incidences to the barest minimum by suggesting the following;

Getting Involved: This would go a long way to de-stigmatize the already worsened epidemic. By consistently talking about it, getting people to lend their voices will give sufferers a sense of belonging and a reassurance that they are not alone and that a community sincerely cares and also shows commitment in their struggle to break free from the shackles of having suicidal dispositions or tendencies. Walking the talk also by creating avenues such as these for cross pollination of ideas, rubbing of minds, sharing in each other’s experiences and charting better courses. Serving also as a support system to also avail help and resources to friends and family who have lost dear ones to suicide, thus, giving them comfort, providing succor/support and to a reasonable extent reducing the reoccurrence of the vicious cycle.

Detecting the early warning signs: The advent of this ‘digital renaissance’ has made people into automaton that are not only anti-socials but also introverts whose companion is a computer gadget or device. We must learn to appreciate our community around us as this will in the long run help us in caring or minding after each other. We can then be able to clearly sense when someone begins to isolate himself, begins to see himself as a burden on others and starts distancing or retreating. Below are red flags we must all watch out for;

  • Nervousness, tension
  • Staggered or disturbed sleep patterns
  • Sudden alienation from friends and family
  • Irritability and increased anger/tolerance levels
  • Loss of interest in favourite activities
  • Mood swings
  • Hopelessness and dwindling self esteem
  • Disinterest in living and exhibiting risky behaviours
  • Sudden drug and alcohol use etc

Availability of  health professional: We currently have a headcount of 250 psychiatrist battling Nigerians 60 million mental cases, is not only grossly inadequate but scarcely enough  to cater for the burgeoning figures, this  has to be timely reversed and very fast to address this seemingly  imbalance. Experts advocate a robust national suicide prevention strategy and manpower training of professionals to combat the menace starring at our faces.

Pro-life economic blueprints that is not only reliable and but practical and equitable enough to kick-start and revamp the economy, that must not only be working but seen to be working.

Regulating the supply and sale of Poisonous substances: Chemicals like the killer ‘sniper’ should not be an off the shelf commodity. Our Laws should be strengthened and adequately armed to maintain some degree of sanity.

Re-engineering our curriculum at all levels of learning and incorporating our once highly held value system, and also mental/physical heath erudition

Tone down the use of social media and device use: Social media has a lot of positive as well as negative energies. While it has kept us abreast of technological advancements and innovation, it has also become a toxic hotbed of all sorts. It warehouses all kinds of lifestyles alien to our culture that tend to exert its own pressure on individuals.

It is worthy of mentioning that Help Alive International Initiative is glad to identify with our youths in our tertiary institutions in particular and our society in general, it is germane to let you know we also passed through the system and have our own fair share of experiences that places us at a vintage position to mentor, guide and direct you through your chosen career paths unscathed

Let it be known that this is not just a ‘once-end-all visit’, neither is it a ‘flash in the pan’, as you can be rest assured that we are here for the longer haul. Entrenched in our mandate is also the responsibility of strengthening the fabrics of society through youths that have been mentally mentored to fit into the shoes as leaders in the 21st century and beyond.

Thank you for giving us your precious time

 

Victor Mbotor Elemi

Volunteer-Help Alive International Initiative

Abuja-Nigeria

Author: admin

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