Suicide is the act or an instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) an estimated 703,000 people a year take their life around the world. For every suicide, there are likely 20 other people making suicide attempt and many more have serious thoughts of suicide and millions of people suffer intense grief or are otherwise profoundly impacted by suicidal behaviours.
Therefore, by raising awareness, reducing stigma around suicide and encouraging well informed action. Instances of suicide can reduce around the globe.
World Suicide Prevention Day was established in 2003 by the International Association for Suicide Prevention in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO). The Month of September each year focuses on the attention on the issue giving a singular message that suicide can be prevented.
Triennial theme for the World Suicide Prevention Day from 2021-2023 is ‘Creating Hope Through Action’. This theme is a reminder that there is an alternative to suicide and aims to inspire confidence and light in all of us.
We met a psychologist counselor Robby Ingutiah based in Webuye town who highlighted the causes, effects and preventive measures of suicide in Kenya.
Causes of suicide that she mentioned include;
Depression– This is a mood disorder that affects an individual’s feelings and adjustment to how they feel.
This is when one is depressed main opt to commit suicide.
Illness- This is health disorder that affects the physical or mental status of an individual.
Ms. Ingutiah said if a person has chronic ailments and has been treated for long without getting healed may end up taking their life due to the suffering they have experienced.
Intimate relationships and failed marriages– Ms. Ingutiah noted that some people don’ move on when their relations don’t work out, they try forcing things on their partners/ intimates but when they fail to reconcile they no longer see the need of living therefore end up committing suicide.
Conflict– This is a disagreement between two or more parties. People may differ on a particular subject and end up fighting perhaps one can be defeated then won’t accept the defeat and due to this commits suicide.
Financial constraints– Ms Ingutiah, cited the high cost of living among Kenyans that most of them are unable to meet their basic needs despite struggling daily, some end up taking loans from different financial institutions and fail to pay back after they have accumulated with huge interests hence when unable to pay back they end up taking their lives to avoid being trailed.
Loss of job- This is when one is retrenched or interdicted from his job that they depend on. It becomes difficult on their side to put up with life therefore end up looking for a short cut that is suicide.
Drug and drug abuse-This is when one indulges in the use of substances that alter their moods or emotions. Many people who abuse drugs are in the state of hopelessness, such individuals are easily convinced by their minds to commit suicide because they don’t see anything important in life.
The above are some of the causes that were highlighted by Ms. Ingutia the psychological counselor and said there many others that lead to suicide in Kenya today like in students; academic pressure and loneliness too can lead one to end up this/ her life.
She said suicide causes grief on a family where it is difficult for family members to cope up with the situation where one of them just left without being ill. It causes confusion and distress over unresolved issues and some even feel guilt and wonder why they never prevented the act. They experience shock and anger after the loss of their loved one.
Ms. Ingutiah says suicide can be prevented and is prevented by ensuring access to effective mental health and suicide care treatment, seeking counseling, sharing out problems to people who can be helpful, responding effectively to individuals in crisis, reducing access to means of suicide then seeking help when in a fix.
Finally, she said people should not be afraid to talk about suicide.