Psychologist warns of possible spike in suicide cases

Wed, 3 Feb 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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On the back of two police officers committing suicide in a space of 72 hours, a Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Isaac Newman Arthur has warned of more cases in the coming days if care is not taken.

According to the Psychologist, this situation will be the extreme negatives of the recent suicide cases as some officers who are suffering from similar situations that caused the earlier cases may be compelled to follow suit in what is described as a copycat syndrome.

Dr. Newman in an interview with GhanaWeb said the current development accounts for the little attention and investment given to mental health issues in the country.

“Whatever has happened may encourage others who may want to commit suicide. There’s something we call copycat syndrome or phenomenon where when someone commits suicide others are now emboldened and encouraged to commit suicide.

"So I won’t be surprised if for the days coming we will hear of other suicides cropping up because some people who commit suicide will not be confident enough until they hear another person commit suicide. That is the negative aspect of it,” he said.

In the same vein, however, Dr. Newman believes the situation is likely to cause policymakers to relook at policies on mental health.

“Now policymakers and people who make decisions about the decriminalization of suicide, I think will pay attention again. Because if the police officer who is supposed to enforce the law commits suicide then suicide has nothing to do with whether the person is bad or not. Because majority of persons who commit suicide have depression and depression is one of the major mental health issues in the country and worldwide,” he stated.

The clinical psychologist is of the view that a prioritisation of mental health issues will go a long way to serve the country in managing issues of suicide among the general population and within the security services where factors contributing to suicide tendencies are rife.

Dr. Newman believes that if proper attention is given to mental health issues, it will significantly contribute to the general wellbeing of citizens and will go a long way to affect productivity at all levels.

Over the last few years, there have been significant records of suicide cases among security personnel in the country.

The latest is the report of two officers of the Ghana Police Service committing suicide in a space of 72 hours.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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