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Promoting Good Governance.

Group launches anti- suicide campaign, says it hopes to curb deaths by suicide

A NON-GOVERNMENTAL initiative, Suicide Is No Solution (SINS) has commenced an anti-suicide campaign as a means to help curb suicide in Nigeria.

Series of advocacy activities put together by the group  with a view to dissuading people from committing suicide includes interactive events and counseling support to highlight the increasing tide of deaths by suicide amongst Nigerians and provide professional support to would-be victims.

The initiative launched by the group on Thursday also revealed that a team of mental health practitioners, religious leaders, social workers and volunteers have joined hands to support the cause in order to achieve its objective.

Idy Toye-Arulogun  the project team leader, stated that the SINS initiative is a coordinated response to the increase in rate of deaths caused by suicide in Nigeria.

She said the key task of the SINS campaign is to significantly reduce the rate of deaths by suicide in Nigeria through a strong public enlightenment and advocacy campaign that discourages people from killing themselves.

She added that  every 40 seconds one person dies by suicide in the world and Nigeria currently the 15th position in the world suicide ranking.

Hence, there is a strong need to intensify the campaign against suicide, especially given the psychological effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Toye-Arulogun further noted that the SINS campaign encompasses multi-media communication messages for exposure in both traditional and new media platforms, a helpline and professional counseling support structure to engage members of the public going through distress and depression.

She said the group is hopeful that the SINS intervention will contribute to the mental well being of Nigerians and ultimately reduce deaths by suicide through various engagements.

According to experts Suicide is the second leading cause of death especially among the youth.

But the Nigerian government has not prioritise any form of intervention programme to prevent the trend.

For  instance,  there are fewer than 500 psychiatrists nationwide to take care of  over 200 million people.

Europe on the other hand has 13 programmes, America has eight, Western Pacific has five, South East Asia has two programmes while Africa has no intervention programmes.

Some of the advocacy messages being promoted include: “Don’t let the stumble on the road be the end of your journey; Every setback is a set up for a comeback, don’t give up; Life is full of options, suicide is no option; If you need help or know someone who does, call our helpline: 07041000466.”

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