Fed House Decries High Suicide Rates in Nigeria

. . . Advocates for National Suicide Prevention Strategy

By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba

The Federal House of Representatives has called on the Nigerian Government to, as a matter of urgency, adopt a national suicide prevention strategy to reduce the high rate of suicides in the country.

The House made the call following a Motion on the urgent need to address the increasing rate of suicide in Nigeria that was sponsored by the member representing Aguata Federal Constituency, Hon Chukwuma Umeoji.

It noted that suicide was the impulsive and intentional act of taking one’s life in the moment of crisis and the inability to handle life’s stress such as depression, financial problems, unemployment and health issues, among others.

The National Assembly urged the Federal Government to establish social welfare, mental care and psychological assistance centres in all the local government areas across the country.

Such centres, the House noted, would provide the necessary psychological care for depressed persons, so as to curtail, or possibly prevent suicidal attempts.

It also called on the National Orientation Agency (NOA), to embark on senstization and advocacy programmes on the prevention of suicide.

Noting that the World Health Organization (WHO), estimates the suicidal rate in Nigeria as 9.8 per 100,000, the National Assembly member called on the Federal Government to check what it described as the ill wind called suicide.

According to the Federal House member, the abused, the sexually discriminated and the prisoners, as well as those in war, disaster, violence and isolated areas, were mostly associated with suicidal behaviour.