The National Coordinator of Suicide Research and Prevention Initiative, Nigeria (SURPIN), Dr Raphael Ogbolu, has disclosed that the maiden National Conference on suicide prevention will deliberate on effort to reduce increasing incidence of suicide in Nigeria.
In an interview on Saturday, Ogbolu said the conference will commence Oct. 26 at Lagos State University.
He warned that the issue of suicide in the country is assuming an increasing, worrisome dimension, adding that the youths, who are suppose to be the “engine room of the country are cutting their lives short,” he said.
Ogbolu who is also Consultant Psychiatrist, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital disclosed that the National Conference on suicide prevention will partner with other NGOs, as well as Sen. Ibrahim Oloriegbe, who represents Kwara Central Senatorial District.
He observed that though suicide is not alien in the country, it has however assume alarming proportion, adding that the resilience of the present generations have dropped significantly.
“A rise in suicide is seen because a lot of people are facing mental health depression which is a global problem.
“Depression is the largest contributor to suicide in Nigeria according to world Health Organisation, who have been monitoring the trends for past seven years.
“There is also breakdown of the traditional family system in Nigeria, as people are getting more westernized and doing away with social interaction and social support, ” he said.
The SURPIN National Coordinator pointed out that Nigeria requires a suicide prevention strategy to meet the WHO target of reducing global suicide by 10 percent by 2020.
“Although majority of suicides are preventable, Nigeria does not have a comprehensive, structured and extensively collaborative National Suicide Prevention Strategy till date.
“Targeted suicide prevention programmes can contribute significantly to reduction of suicides.
“There is an urgent need for a National Centre for Data Collation on suicides to enable us formulate and develop a robust strategy to tackle this condition,” he said.
He explained that this fits into the objective of the National Health Policy of Nigeria: “to reduce the burden of mental illnesses and promote the maintenance of sound mental health of Nigerians in general”.
Ogbolu further explained that the Lagos University Teaching Hospital established the Suicide Research and Prevention Initiative, ‘SURPIN’ in March 2017.
He said SURPIN is presently the only comprehensive, structured and extensively collaborative suicide prevention initiative with a unique approach in the public domain, innovative not just in Nigeria but also in West African.
The Psychiatrist said it has reached and saved over 100 lives through the effective use of Hotlines and facility within the first two years with branches across Nigeria.
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