Suicide cases will increase unless economy is fixed – Mental health boss warns
The Chief Executive Officer of the Mental Health Authority (MHA) has warned suicide incidents in the country might continue if the difficulties in the economy are not fixed.
Dr. Akwasi Osei said a key underlying factor that pushes people to take their own lives is the hardship they face especially in the economy.
Speaking to Gifty Andoh-Appiah on The Pulse on JOYNEWS channel on MultiTV Thursday, he said government has to do all it can to fix the economy.
“If the economy is not booming and people are having hardship you will have this [suicide] happening.”
Ghana has recorded four suicide incidents within the last four weeks, a development the Health Ministry has described as worrying.
The incidents which rapidity has confounded health officials started with a first year Chemical Engineering student of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology taking her life on February 24.
Adwoa Agyarka Anyimadu-Antwi, 18, was reported to have taken a concoction identified as hazardous after which she hanged herself with a rope in her hostel room.
This was followed by the discovery of a lifeless body of a 16-year-old girl at New Tafo in the Eastern Region.
The teenager whose name has not been identified is said to have been discovered by her mother in their kitchen on March 8, with a rope tied around her neck.
Although it is unclear what might have driven a junior high school student to take her own life, her colleagues say she was unwell.
On the same day, a final year student of the University of Ghana was found lying in a pool of blood after allegedly jumping from the 4th floor of the Akuafo hall.
Jennifer Nyarko a resident of Akuafo Hall Annex A in room 407 is said to have been battling with high fever, but it has not been established if she deliberately fell over.
Also, on Thursday, a lifeless body of a man said to be in his mid-twenties was discovered hanging on a tree at Old Achimota, a suburb of Accra.
Tesano District Police Commander, DSP Edward Tetteh, said their preliminary investigations revealed the deceased was at a betting house hours before the incident happened.
Dr. Osei who has been on the heels of government to prioritise mental health issues in the country said the rising rate of suicide is an “unpleasant situation.”
He attributed the development to mental health problems which he accuses government of ignoring to the detriment of the country.
Although he lauded the passage of the Mental Health Act, he said the Legislative Instrument (L.I) that is required to put the law into action has not been passed.
“If you have this [L.I] there will be massive public education, employee assistance programmes to schools that will give counseling opportunities to people to identify the underlying problems,” he said.
Nonetheless, Dr Osei said the important work is in making the economy less difficult for the citizens to conduct their activities.
Suicide rate in the country will go down if the economy creates opportunities and improves the livelihood of Ghanaians, he said.