COUNSELLING AS AN ANTI-DOTE TO SUICIDE

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The World Health Organisation (WHO)’s ranking showed that 800,000 people die globally from suicide every year, with 15.1 suicides per 100,000 people annually. Nigeria now ranks the 30th most suicide-prone country out of 183 nations in the world.

Nigeria is also ranked10th in Africa, leading countries like Togo (26th), Sierra Leone (11th), Angola (19th), and Burkina Faso (22nd) in the spate of suicides.

With causative reasons varying from mental disorders, financial difficulty, marital problems, academic challenges, depression and rejection among others, Lagos State leads the list with 15 reported cases within the period under review.

With this social malady taking a massive toll on the country, it has become expedient that all hands must be on deck to ensure its mitigation.

I’m of the opinion that counselling centres should be formulated in every organization, be it schools, churches, work place, etc., where suicidal victims can go to and receive succour in their times of depression.

Second, since it has been statistically proven that most suicides these days are from adolescents/students/youths, it’s important that mental health should be included as a course in all faculties of educational learning. Be it Law, Marketing, Medicine, Accounting, etc., this course should run yearly in their programmes.

During the Mental Health course, students should undertake compulsory exercise such as YOGA to help stabilize their mental state, easing off anxiety and mental stress which are colossal causes of depression.

It has been proven that YOGA improves mood and relaxation. As an exercise, yoga is a natural way to increase Serotonin production. According to the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience Trusted Source, serotonin production plays a role in the treatment of depression. Serotonin is believed to play a major role in happiness. One study also suggests people with depression have lower serotonin levels.

Yoga also helps with meditation. Dr. Mason Turner of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Group says Yoga therapy “can be very powerful in the treatment of depression.” Even if Yoga isn’t your forte, the combination of meditation and physical movement provides two important elements for relieving depression.

Meditation helps bring a person into the present moment and allows them to clear their minds. Controlled and focused movements also help strengthen the body-mind connection.

Three, parents should observe their kids closely and build a solid relationship with them. Most children have endured a lot of abuse from their parents without their parents realizing it. Emotional abuse and child neglect are invariably the situation most children go through and it precipitates a lot of anxiety in them leading to depression.

Parents should also make their children understand that it’s okay to fail. It’s inarguable that most cases of suicide these days are from students who underwent academic challenges.

Some commit suicide because they failed a particular topic and flash back to the warnings of their parents, scolding them not to come home as a result of their bad grades in school. Some even go as far as threatening to harm them and putting them under a lot of pressure to pass. This in turn puts some cowardly children through a lot of apprehension.

In as much as discipline and strong will to learn should be inculcated in our kids, parents should make them understand that failing is also a journey to success. They should be encouraged rather than being threatened. This will help their emotional balance when they feel that even amidst their struggles, they have a shoulder to lean on.

Parents should channel more palatial time to their kids instead of their phones. Children these days show symptoms of depression without their parents being aware of it, and it gravitates to full-blown depression because they’ve been neglected for so long.

Charity they say begins at home. Whatever trait of depression a child exhibits outside is probably because that child didn’t get enough attention at home. Depression is sequel to rejection.

Lastly, show love to people you meet on the street. Smile at them. Tell them you love their shoes; tell them how pretty or handsome they look; tell them how much you love their hair-style or hair-cut; tell them they look good. The truth is everyone needs some sense of self-worth and boosting a person’s esteem shows them how much they are being recognized and valued, thereby giving them a reason to live.

We should spread the love as much as we can.

Lauretta Egboh, Lagos