Concern raised over spike in suicide cases

ZIMBABWEANS have been urged to open up when they have problems and seek counselling instead of resorting to suicide to solve problems emanating from gender-based violence, malignant illnesses, joblessness and others.

BY VENERANDA LANGA

Yesterday marked the World Suicide Prevention Day and World Health Organisation (WHO) 2017 figures show that Zimbabwe is ranked number 19 in the world in terms of deaths by suicide, with suicide deaths reaching 1 641 or 1,30% of total mortalities in the country.

Hilton Nyamukapa, a programmes manager with Zimbabwe Civil Liberties and Drug Network said some of the suicide deaths were caused by drug abuse.

“Some people that are experiencing problems end up resorting to drugs, and when they fail to cope they resort to suicide,” Nyamukapa said.

“It is important to send people that are affected by suicidal tendencies for counselling as soon as possible, and our organisation has referred such people to professional counsellors,” Nyamukapa said.

Varume Svinurai/Vukani Madoda organising secretary Temba Nzounhenda said his organisation joined the world in commemorating the World Suicide Prevention Day, taking into cognisance the effects of gender-based violence that have also caused suicide.

Nzounhenda said it was imperative to ensure that people with suicidal tendencies are taken for counselling, listened to and even referred to the Zimbabwe Republic Police Victim Friendly Unit which uses different approaches to deal with people with suicidal tendencies.

“Victims of gender-based violence need psychosocial support, because if they do not get it on time some of them end up resorting to suicide.

We have seen even cases of children as young as 10 years getting into difficult situations where they think no one can help them and they end up contemplating suicide.

What they need is a listening ear and a solution,” he said.


Nzounhenda said some of the causes of suicide included failure to cope with discoveries such as one being diagnosed with malignant illnesses like diabetes, cancer, and HIV, mental illness, and joblessness which causes feelings of unworthiness, among several other issues.

“There is need for swift intervention in terms of counselling so that the person knows that they can survive their problems instead of committing suicide,” he said.

An estimated one million people per year in the world are said to die by suicide. As of 2017, it is estimated that around 30% of global suicides were due to pesticide self-poisoning, most of which occur in rural agricultural areas in poor countries.

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