…As NANSNM President, called for creation of more job opportunities***
A Mental Health Nurse, Mrs Ladipo Clegg, has urged Federal Government to formulate policies that would address economic challenges and reduce suicide incidences in Nigeria, noting that suicide may remain intractable, until socio-economic policies are entrenched.
Clegg made the plea on Tuesday at the 7th Annual Nurses Week of the National Association Nigerian Students Nurses and Midwives (NANSNM), Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, in Lagos.
Theme of the programme was: “Suicide: A Global Phenonmenum Challenging the Future of the Nation’s Growth: The Role of Mental Health Nurses.”
Clegg said such policies would address the economic challenges crucial to reducing high rate of suicide incidences.
According to her, economic hardship in the country was the major cause of suicide.
“Suicide, as a common social phenomenon in the world today, is a deliberate act of taking one’s life by the individual.
“The rate of suicide incidences in Nigeria today is no doubt alarming and very disturbing.
“Most shocking is the fact that younger ones are not excluded from the worrying trend.
“Report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) says about 800,000 people die every year through suicide.
“Nigeria ranked 67th in the world base on suicide and ranked number one in West Africa in suicide rate.
“Depression is likely the major reason for suicide,” she said.
Clegg, also said that people were depressed for various reasons, ranging from loss of loved ones, mental problems, occupational financial problems, among others.
“The nation’s socioeconomic environment is one of the factors that can lead to depression and possibly suicide.
“If the government can make policies that would address the economic hardship in the country, the rate of suicide incidences will reduce,” she said.
Also, Prof. Baduru Fatai, Head, Department of Social Work, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lagos, said that Nigeria need to return to the old tradition of ‘brotherly love and care’.
Fatai, who also spoke as a guest speaker at the programme, said that people no longer care for other’s feelings.
According to him, before someone takes away his/her life, there must be some previous signs and tendencies of suicide.
“But, because he was left alone without counselling of any sort, such person will proceed to commit suicide.
“Our society is fast transforming from the communal African tradition one, where you are your brother’s keeper and collective interest of all matters to a more secluded one.
“As a result of Western society, Nigerian society and family are fast becoming disengaged, insensitive, self-centered, unsupportive and more nuclear.
“Everybody should work together to stop this act; words of encouragement should be given to those experiencing trial times around them.
“The rich should stretch their helping hands to the poor,” Fatai said.
Earlier, President of NANSNM, Mrs Ekome Udon, called for creation of more job opportunities, especially for youths to keep them gainfully engaged with legal activities.
Udon said that the unemployment crisis had created a lost generation of graduates who cannot find jobs, with many of exasperated.
“The alert use of hard drugs like Hemp, Cocaine and even Methamphetamine are common in the society and adverse effects of these drugs can often lead to suicide.
“Unfortunately, most youths are afraid of facing the challenges of life, as a result might think of ending their lives.
“In preventing this dreadful act, there is need for government, individuals, family, and religious bodies to address this issue.
“Government should adopt policies that will aim at respecting the right of people and those with mental illness.
“Government should also create awareness of suicide at all levels of care and create jobs for youths.
“Parents and family should avoid putting undue pressure on their dependants or children on any issue,” Udon said.