A renowned psychologist has tipped the government in how to deal with rising cases of suicide in the country.
In Malawi, more and more people kill themselves. Most of them are men. Family problems and economic hardship are among the reasons.
Chiwoza Bandawe a psychologist at the College of Medicine in Blantyre says the current high numbers of suicide cases can be reduced if the country trains and hires more mental health experts in public health facilities.
Bandawe says stress and anxiety are the main reasons most people resort to killing themselves after failing to get professional help.
He said mental health experts are therefore of great help hence the need to train more as currently Malawi has only three experts in the field.
Meanwhile, Bandawe has further advised government to intensity civic educating the public on the importance of disclosing sexual assault if the vice is to be curbed.
According to Franklin Kilembe, who runs a private clinic in Lilongwe where he counsels people with mental-health problems, men mostly commit suicide because of economic hardship.
“In our cultural setup, a man is supposed to be the breadwinner of the family. When the man loses his job, his economic lifeline is cut, and he becomes depressed. As a result, he thinks of hanging himself,” he says.
Because of Malawi’s bad economy, more companies are expected to lay off workers, which probably means more suicides, he warns.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that close to 800 000 people commit suicide every year. That is one person every 40 seconds. It further notes that there are indications that for each adult who dies by suicide, there may be more than 20 others attempting suicide.
According to the WHO, “effective and evidence-based interventions can be implemented at population, sub-population and individual levels to prevent suicide and suicide attempts.” Such interventions are urgently needed in Malawi.
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