Malawi registered a 72 percent rise in suicide deaths between January and March 2021, statistics from the Malawi Police Service have shown.
Connect Plus Resource Institute (CPRI) Chief Executive Officer, Dennis Mwafulirwa, has since called for urgent action to address the problem.
In a statement issued ahead of the launch of the first ever Suicide Prevention Week (SPW) in Malawi, Mwafulirwa emphasized that need to raise awareness on the need to promote measures for reducing cases of suicide and suicide attempts.
He said the Suicide Prevention Week will run from September 5 to 11, 2021, and will be observed every year and will coincide with the World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10 each year.
“These two events will help us encourage a healthy conversation around suicide and promote measures for reducing cases of suicide and suicide attempts,” said Mwafulirwa.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve seen an increase in conversations around mental health. We need to encourage this conversation, and the one around suicide.”
Mwafulirwa asked stakeholders and the general public to join the suicide prevention conversation this week and beyond.
The organization has also called on government to designate every second week of September “a National Suicide Prevention Week” as part of a broader strategy for preventing suicide and suicide attempts in Malawi.
According to the World Health Organization, globally, every 40 seconds a person dies by suicide and many more attempt suicide.
Connect Plus Resource Institute is a local social enterprise organization established in response to the growing mental health and wellness needs in Malawi. The organization is dedicated to supporting Malawians build, strengthen and sustain healthy lifestyle and wellness practices by providing professional, evidence based and confidential mental health and wellness services and solutions.