The deluge of suicide in recent times across the country has been alarming. Of course, some factors are responsible for such unfortunate end, and the propelling forces overwhelming people to take their life are not insurmountable if every one of us do the right thing as and when due.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) suicide data, close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year, globally, this is one person every 40 seconds. As a global phenomenon, the World Federation for Mental Health supported by WHO is commemorating the World Mental Health Day today. Godwin Bebia, a mental and emotional health therapist and founder of Great Counsellors without Borders Initiative espoused the Theme of the 2019 “Suicide Prevention” and what could be done to arrest the ugly trend. Excerpt
Suicide is an end result of a whole lot of mental and emotional torture over some time, what can be done to combat it from the scratch?
The biblical King Solomon says, “Afflictions makes a wise man mad.” Basic needs of man should be provided for, but when people do not have biogenic needs, it results into series of emotional and psychological torture which leads to suicide in most cases. All hands must be on deck to ensure we nib it in the bud. Prevention is far better than any other thing we do to curb suicide.
For those passing through different stages of mental crisis, what is the way for rescue?
Talk to them one on-one, through our intimate discussion, we identify the missing link/gaps in their life and know what exactly to tackle according to individual cases because some could be in the stages of anger, anxiety, frustration, restlessness, depression, etc before it metamorphose to suicide.
OK, you said everyone needs mental and emotional health evaluation… (Cuts in)
Yes! Including all government elected and appointed officers, because it’s only those who are mentally and emotionally sound that can come out of service especially public sector stainless. Those who tamper and squander what belongs to the public are emotionally and mentally ill and need evaluation. A sound person would not tamper with what belongs to another. Unfortunately some persons in this country divert what is meant for mentally unsound persons, the aged, pensioners, IDPs, to their personal pocket. It shows the person squandering such is mentally sick, and his conscience is dead. We heard how food and material items meant for IDPs were diverted, and other irresponsible acts done in Nigeria especially by public servants, so there’s no difference between the man who deprived any good thing from those suffering from mental and emotional retardation and himself, by the way, the Holy book says, “Do NOT withhold any good thing from them to whom it’s due when it’s in the power of your hand to do it, and don’t say to your neighbor to go & come again tomorrow when you can do it now!”
When you identify these gaps/missing links in different individuals, how do you intend to tackle it head-on?
That’s why we are calling everyone; clergymen, the government, educational institutions, traditional leaders, parents and guidance, to play their parts promptly before a link/ gap is created. It’s when we all do the needful as and when due, the spate of suicide will reduce significantly because people would not contemplate suicide. We are wired to bear one another’s cross. For instance, undergraduates and Corp member who took his life out of frustration could have been rescued if they had a counselor and or their needs met, so counseling is indispensable here.
Note: Some person’s needs are: food, shelter, advice or justice over a matter etc. So when they are met it would go a long way to mitigate their problems. Thus; those looking for where to spend money and philanthropists, should invest in humanity and save life, because if this ugly trend continues, we are all in danger.
How sustainable are these palliative measures?
A continuous engagement in therapeutic counseling and productive ventures by everyone no matter how meagre will go a long way, and we must let them know they can survive despite all odds. So with cognitive behaviorial therapy (CBT), we can track their problems.
What inspired you to embark on preventing people from taking their life through suicide and providing the CBT you mentioned above?
As a pastor, it’s not enough to wait for people to come to church to hear sermons. As Jesus did, we have to move out and reach out to them, Jesus didn’t wait for people to come to him, he went about doing good! Besides it pains me see people die out of what can be prevented. So we need like-minded people to reduce this ugly trend to the barest minimum.
Can you specifically tell us the particular kind of mental and emotional challenges you are talking about?
Unfortunately we are not talking about total madness as people would think. We are talking about emotional/mental and psychological defects which springs out of negative thoughts patterns and processes which is passed on to the emotions and is being interpreted and leads to actions or inactions that lead to suicide. Our target is to identify the symptomatic stages and dig deeper to ascertain the root causes then devised ways to fix it, God’s Willing.
How do you arrest (abstractly) someone who is contemplating suicide?
Experience has shown that people tend to feign emotionally and psychologically disturbed. But the truth is that, it’s real and suicide is preventable, they should not be afraid to discuss it with people who can help. And people should help their neighbors, some people have resorted to drinking and indulge into other illicit acts when they are facing emotional and mental crisis, but these can only aggravate the issue. Whether sickness/ disease or whatever, none is insurmountable. So our attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyper -reactive disorder (ADHD) strategy helps us to counsel, educate, evaluate and treat accordingly.
People don’t report themselves to hospital or others… (Cuts in)
Emotional and mental illness does not respond to drugs/medicine. But with CBT counseling and therapy. It goes with use of words that brings succour and solace to the person involved.
Would oral/mere counseling solve mental and emotional crisis when depressed persons need food and…(Cuts in)
You know an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. First; we must make such persons know that suicide is not the best option, reaching that consensus with the affected persons, we move to the next level. As I said before, those who are willing, able and ready to help these depressed people can use different platforms to reach out to them to a reasonable time when they’re totally free from such evil thoughts.