Finding solutions to teenage suicide in Ghana

Suicide Rate 6 Finding solutions to teenage suicide in Ghana

Sun, 28 Aug 2022 Source: Joel Savage

When you read about a youngster who has committed suicide, it stings if you are a parent. There was a time when child suicide was virtually ever reported, but things are quickly changing in Ghana as more kids are choosing death over life and kids are also killing other kids to get rich, a practice called there as "Sika duro."

We need to determine why kids, whether they have parents or not, sudden desire to end their life. Experts contend that the educational system and parents are both to blame for these youth suicides. Ghana, in my opinion, needs organizations that support efforts to prevent child suicides.

I was deeply affected by the news of a 16-year-old Junior High School student and apprentice tailor who was found hanged at a football entertainment center in Tema New Town early on Friday, August 26, 2022. Since my last son is 15 years old, I will not be moved by this horrible news because the victim is not one of my children. Even as I write this piece this morning, I'm still incredibly depressed.

Ghana's current standard of living is extremely tough due to the high number of unemployed parents who are unable to appropriately care for their children. The allure of contemporary technology has inspired many of these kids. They desire modern smart phones and computers because they have observed more privileged kids using them. They would rather end their life because they are uncomfortable and can't take it.

While there are several institutions, organizations, and resources throughout Europe and the United States that are entirely focused on preventing teen suicide or helping young adolescents cope with adolescent issues, Africa lacks better medical facilities and institutions to address the abrupt, sharp surge in teen suicide.

As wealthy as Ghana is as a country, with abundant resources like oil, gold, diamonds, lumber, cocoa, manganese, bauxite, and other precious metals, there ought to have been facilities around the nation to deal with teen issues given that many of these youngsters are students. Unfortunately, unlike in Europe and America, there aren't any facilities designed specifically to address teenage issues.

Without going too far, I'll use Belgium, where I currently reside, as an example. Whether or not the woman is a foreigner, the Belgian government offers her 900 euros in free money to help her with the costs associated with getting ready to give birth. After the baby is born, the mother will provide the child with financial support until the youngster reaches the age of maturity. When the youngster completes school and begins working, the aid ends.

While politicians who should be building the facilities and institutions to help these kids, who are typically under strain from a variety of issues, abandon their jobs and instead opt to gain fortune, poor teenage students in Ghana continue to suffer. If you are not from the tribe, you will run the length of the field without setting foot on the ball. Only the children of politicians in Ghana live like humans.

Such heartbreaking news about teen suicide should cause the government in any decent developing nation to seriously consider taking action to put a stop to these tragedies, but not in Ghana. When I read such news, my blood immediately becomes chilly because the first response should have been the responsibility of the government to find ways to meet the needs of the ill and suffering masses.

Prevention of Teen Suicide: What Everyone Should Know

National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month is in September, and this year, more than ever, it's critical for parents, healthcare professionals, educators, and teenagers themselves to comprehend the fundamentals of teen suicide prevention. One of the biggest problems of our time is the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the teen mental health issue.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of persons having suicidal thoughts and suffering from depression has virtually doubled in comparison to prior years due to the collective trauma and loss.

World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10) and Suicide Prevention Week (September 4–10, 2022) provide opportunities for mental health and youth organizations to raise this matter to the public's attention and let youngsters realize they are not alone, to stop the rising epidemic of juvenile suicide.

What should you do if you believe someone may commit suicide? Experts advise using the following strategies to approach and help someone in need:

1.Inquire about their well-being and whether they have any thoughts of harming or killing themselves. Ask honestly if you feel like it: "Are you thinking about injuring or killing yourself?" Bringing up the subject of suicide won't "place the concept in their head." In reality, many people who are contemplating suicide find relief in talking about their concerns.

2.Be a real friend and pay them attention. Someone who is contemplating suicide needs your help. So refrain from calling them irrational, theatrical, or overreacting. Allow them to express their thoughts and feelings while being a good listener; don't cut them off or try to convince them that things are not as awful as they think.

3.Inform them that you are concerned about them. "I'm worried because it seems like you're pretty down lately." Or, "I'm genuinely worried about what you mentioned about wanting to injure yourself."

4.Tell them you heard what they have said or planned. To be sure you comprehend, don't be scared to repeat back to them what you have heard. It sounds like disputes with your partner and at home have caused you to become quite upset and angry. Don't pass judgment on anything they say; simply let them know that you have been paying attention and recognize their frustration.

5.It can be terribly isolating to struggle with mental illness. People may feel as though they are different or no one can comprehend them. Inform them that they are not alone. This feeling of overload, depression, fear, and anger has been experienced by others before. More importantly, let them know that you and others are thinking of them and are ready to help.

6.Never conceal your suicidal ideas or plans! Don't worry about betraying an adult's confidence. At least they will still be alive even if they temporarily lose their temper. Adolescents and young adults who are suicidal are typically glad when someone finally knows. Just keep in mind that you might just save their life. And a dependable adult, such as a parent, sibling, teacher, coach, or pastor, will guide you in making the right decisions.

7.Suicidal thoughts typically indicate that a person has no hope. They might think no one can assist them. They may have run out of other ways to get away from uncomfortable or unbearable sensations or circumstances. However, they will eventually feel well again, if a responsible adult will get them the support they require. Call 911 right away or arrange for an adult to take the person to the emergency hospital if you think they are about to hurt themselves or have already done so.

Columnist: Joel Savage