Malawi student commits suicide after binge drinking

A Blantyre based secondary school student has committed suicide by hanging outside his guardian’s residence at Nkolokosa B Township after a spree of drinking jaunts.

The deceased, identified as 17-year-old Mike Chatha, was a student at Radson Private Secondary School, situated about 80 meters away from his house.

The incident happened on Thursday night, December 27, just after 9.00pm, according to eye witnesses.

The boy lashed three neckties which he used to lynch himself on a tree standing some 10 meters away from the house.

Dead after binge drinking: The case of beer death in Malawi. The dead person in the picture is not the student but another beer death statistics

A family member told Nyasa Times his relation came home very intoxicated and started causing havoc without addressing the issue.

The deceased was staying in Nkolokosa B with his cousins.

“He smashed a number of household items like TV screen and TV stand. Thereafter, he vanished without telling anyone where he was going.

“After sometime one of us went out of the house only to find Mike’s body hanging on a tree just a few meters away from our house,” explained the witness.

The family member said they suspect their relation took away his life because of depression.

The deceased blamed nobody for his death because he neither left behind any suicide note nor verbal message to anyone.

“Earlier in the day he told us he was going to solicit some money from his dad. But we don’t know whether or not his request was granted, similarly we don’t know what transpired between the two,” he said.

The body was taken to College of Medicine in Blantyre for postmortem before his burial slated for Saturday.

A police officer from Soche Police Station privy to the matter also concurred with the family member that Mike might have committed suicide because of depression.

“We have information that the boy was last week arrested by Bvumbwe Police for being suspected of stealing a mobile phone. And that could be another issue that has been haunting him,” explained the officer.

He said police were still investigating the matter to ascertain the cause of Mike’s extreme step.

The departed student hailed fro Mponda village, TA Kapeni in Blantyre District.

Expert notes on suicide

  • There is a strong relationship between teen suicide and binge drinking. It is suggested that those young people who adopt this pattern of drinking are four times more likely to commit suicide. Those teenagers who are binge drinking and who are dealing with stressful events in their life are the most at risk.
  • When people are suffering the intoxicating effects of alcohol or drugs it means they are more likely to make impulsive decisions. Suicide is rarely a spur of the moment decision but intoxication can give the individual the mindset to go through with the act.
  • Those individuals who are dealing with the symptoms of depression may be in a great deal of psychological discomfort and not see any reason to go on. When people are deep in depression they may not have the energy to commit suicide – it sometimes occurs when the individual appears to be getting over their depression.
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