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Expert recommends mental health awareness as antidote to suicides

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Dr Chigozie Igwe, a medical expert with the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) Secretariat, has recommended more awareness on mental health as antidote to curbing incessant cases of suicides in Nigeria.


Igwe spoke at the “Effective Suicide Prevention Response Strategy for Young People in Nigeria’’ programme in Abuja on Tuesday.


The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that over 800,000 people die by suicide annually in the World, with Nigeria ranking among the top 10 countries in Africa.


The 2016 Global Health Observatory Data Repository also estimated that 9.5 suicides per 100,000 occurred in Nigeria.


Igwe made this known while presenting a paper on “Building Young People’s Mental Health Skills”, during the third edition of the dialogue on “Power of Your Mind Project (POYMP)’’.


He decried the effects of mental health challenges, which he attributed to have contributed immensely to suicides and other mental health hazards among youths.


“Mental health affects people of different age, background and gender in different ways and shapes daily.


“The mental health status of a person is critical to living as it is a major determinant of choices, how one relates with others and outlook on life.


“It also determines how people handle stress, depression and challenges in life,” said the expert.


He enlightened participants on mental health, depression and how to recognise and deal with it to avoid suicide ideas and other negative choices.


“Depression is a common and serious mental health challenge that affects the way one thinks, feels and acts.


“The more young people are aware of their mental health issues, the more they will be able to utilise mental health skills and to prevent suicide as well as handle depression.”


He therefore stressed the need for the public, particularly parents and schools to monitor and recognise when someone may be struggling with mental health issues by listening more, empathising and seeking help, where needs be. (NAN)


JAD/COO/MST


Edited by Cecilia Odey/Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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