The number of young adults who have committed or attempted suicide in Nigeria has been on the increase. This has been noticeable among the younger population in the nation’s higher institutions.
It has been one suicide case after another. If it is not committing suicide for failing a course, they are doing so for being jilted by a lover.
Twelve students committed suicide in the last eight months, 42 Nigerians committed suicide in the last two years, hence the need to discuss depression, suicide, violence and drug abuse. These prompted Lysi Regimen Global, Gwarinpa, to come to the rescue. Its Chief Executive Officer, Adebukola Ayelabola, explained at a confrecence in Abuja: “It is difficult to talk about one’s challenges; emotional, psychological and social, as people either do not understand or pretend not to understand these peculiar areas of challenges.
“We live in a world where mental or mind pain is considered less dramatic and of lesser importance when compared to physical pain. Suffice to say that a whole mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood to adolescence and through adulthood.
“I come from a part of the world where a considerable measure of stigmatization has been attached to mental illness and not just these, any protracted form of physical illness.
“Lysi Regimen is a culmination of my life’s journey. But most specifically two major life defining experiences have pushed me into the pursuit of this dream.” She narrated how her family lost her younger brother as a result of jaundice and the stigmatization the family went through.
She said that the rescue centre “came to me in a dream. I woke up with three words deeply impressed into my consciousness: Rescue, Respite and Resuscitate. With this I can confidently say that my focus is to see an emotionally and behaviourally healthy world of people living and functioning optimally for individual and communal productivity and progress through the use of people, process and technology.”
Dr. Michael Okpala, a lecturer in the Department of Psychology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, said unemployment, job loss and high cost of living could be some of the socio-economic factors that result to suicide. He represented the National President of Nigeria Psychological Association (NPA), Prof Michael Ezenwa.
He said: “We are looking at interpretation of events, how people interpret events. When you look at the interpretation, you will know that people’s belief system plays a role because if I perceive a problem being insurmountable it means I have resolved that I am defeated by the problem, which now limits me to start seeking for solution.
“The pressure people are taking going by what is going around them could be too much, perhaps that explains the reason why their resources to cope is overwhelmed.
“Notwithstanding, we have facilities around that could be of help, inability to access these facilities could also be reason people are taking their lives, because when you disclose that you are having problem then people will know how to help you.
“Another point is that the general population could be that they are not even aware of the signals of who is about to commit suicide in order to know how to help such person.
“Suicide is one of the symptoms of depression, the major risk factor of suicide is depression. Suicide is a process that starts with an attempt. Feeling of worthlessness could cause one to commit suicide. It could come from culture it could be social or economical
“Looking at socioeconomics in Nigeria, perhaps, unemployment could be a factor, perhaps, job loss could be a factor, perhaps, high cost of living could be a factor, but mind you, in as much as these people are coping poorly with what is happening, there are still people that are coping positively.”