General News of Tue, 14 Mar 201710
Suicides: Society has failed youth – Mental Health Authority
Society has not lived up to its responsibilities towards the youth hence the rise in suicide rates among young persons in the country, Mr Kweku Brobbey, the Public Relations Officer of the Mental Health Authority, has said.
According to him, any act of suicide is a cry for help that was ignored by society and hence people must begin to show concern to friends and family who suddenly withdraw from society.
“As a society, we have failed all these people, especially the youth, because if you have observed you will find out that most of these people committing suicide are within that classification we call the youth – within the ages of 15-40 years old – and it’s quite disturbing,” he told Moro Awudu on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM on Tuesday 14 March.
“When I talk of society, I’m talking about everybody, I’m talking about us as a nation, I’m talking about government, and I’m talking about the people who live with these people who have developed this kind of [suicidal tendencies]… We live with people in society and see these people have changed their lifestyles. Suddenly, they have become withdrawn, they now keep to themselves, they refuse to talk to people and they keep away from people. It is our responsibility to know that once you see these signs, it should raise red flags and you should be able to go to the person and talk to the person. If the person doesn’t want to be talked to, you can call the helpline which can provide help.
“Any case of suicide that we see in the society is a cry for help from that person where we have failed to heed that cry. And it is our failure to heed that cry for help that has resulted in the person committing suicide. So, generally, it is a societal problem. We have failed all these people who have gone to commit suicide as a society. We need to establish a support system that will help these people in their times of need and in their times of vulnerability.”
To assist persons who have become suicidal, Mr Brobbey said the authority had put out a temporary helpline and are collaborating with the telcos to provide a permanent helpline where people can call and be linked up with professionals to talk them through their problems.