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LUTH launches campaign against suicides in Nigeria

24/03/2017 09:12

The Suicide Research and Prevention Institute of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH,  on March 24, 2017 launched a "One more Day" campaign to help curtail  suicides in the society.

Prof Chris Bode, the Chief Medical Director of LUTH told newsmen in Lagos that the campaign was initiated to reduce the tragedy of suicide and its negative effects on the general public.

"We are launching today a programme to compliment others that are already running to end this unwanted tragedy in our society.

"We call it "One More Day" because when people feel they are hopeless and have nothing more to gain in life, they start considering the idea of taking their own life.

"This act can be preventable if we take our time to talk more to people on issues that might lead to emotional breakdown and stop them from such thought, "he said.

Dr Rafael Ogbolu, a Consultant Psychiatrist said that the campaign was set up to create an opportunity for people who are attempting suicide to get necessary help.

Ogbolu who is the coordinator of the Suicide Research and Prevention Institute said that 7.2 per cent of cases referred to psychiatry consultation in LUTH were related to suicide.

"It has also been reported that during their lifetime, about 3.0 per cent of Nigerians have had thoughts about ending their lives.

"This initiative is not an after thought but considering the events in recent days have made us to spring into action to immediately stem what has been going on.

"The whole idea is to ensure that people can seek help at that point where they are contemplating suicide, the aim is to get them to postpone the act by one day with the intention that we will reach such fellow and have a treatment plan for them, "he said.

Ogbolu said that in developing countries suicide was more associated with substance abuse disorders, such as alcohol and post traumatic stress disorders more than depression.

He said that health workers were particularly a group at risk of suicide due to traumatic effects in dealing with deaths and bonds with their patients.

"The aim of this initiative is to target this group at risk and fashion out ways to help them, "he said.

Dr Yewande Oshodi, a Consultant Psychiatrist also noted that the stigma of psychiatric and mental health had made it difficult for people to come out and seek help.

Oshodi said that suicide was preventable, to some degree, if the general public know what to look out for in people that are contemplating suicide.

"We may be able to stop the process and direct them to necessary places where they can receive help.

"I think the initiative is very laudable because people would know where to go when struggling with emotions, "she said.

Oshodi urged the general public to always enquire about people around, reduce stigmatisation and inquire about suicidal ideas and thoughts to reduce the risk of suicide.

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