KMPDU, MTRH and Other Stakeholders Mark World international suicide day By Sensitizing Youths on Its Dangers
Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union in conjunction with Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital marked World international suicide day by sensitizing youths on the dangers of committing suicide.
With suicide cases on the rise in the country and the globe at large, Kenya with 6.1 suicide-related deaths per every 100000 people according to figures from the World Bank.
The day is marked to sensitize the world about suicide as nearly 800,000 people die by suicide in the world each year, which is roughly one death every 40 seconds.
“This day the whole world observes the international day for suicide prevention. The whole aim of today is to sensitize the world about suicide; we know many people die as a result of suicide. Figures from World Health Organization indicate every 40 seconds at least one person dies with the youth aged 14-19 years being the most affected lot.” said Edith Kwoba consultant psychiatrist at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital.
With no official statistics done by the Kenyan government, Edith says about an estimated 10% of the Kenyan population have attempted suicide.
“In Kenya, we cannot talk about statistics, of course, there are few studies that have been done under a national survey. It is estimated that about 10.1% or there about may have attempted suicide. Most of these people would have gone through suffering and to them is to end this suffering.” added Kwoba.
Mental illness and depression, drug and substance abuse, and even anxiety are some of the reasons leading to suicide cases among individuals.
She called on Kenyans to check on their mental well-being. More than 90% of people who attempt to kill themselves have had some form of mental illness.
“This could be depression where you feel hopeless sadness that’s not ending and you wonder why you have to live, it can be drugs and substance abuse, other illness like psychosis and all other forms of mental illness can make you wish to die,” Edith Kwoba said.
She says only a small percentage of Kenyans have impulse control, there is an urge for Kenyans to be aware of their mental health and consider self-care as it starts with an individual being conscious of self and taking care.
“Of course, there is a small percentage of people with impulse control. The kind of people who just wake and say I’ll do it and they do it. Most people are continuing to struggle. We say it starts with you. You need to be continuously aware of your mental health. Self-care, good eating habits, and sleep are all recommended as ways for self-care.” she said.
She called on Kenyans with whatever problem to speak up and not on social media only as it enhances cyberbullying which is a factor leading to suicide cases, but to professionals who would advise accordingly.