PSYCHEALTH ZAMBIA SADDENED BY THE INCREASE OF SUICIDE RATES IN ZAMBIA, CALLS ON GOVERNMENT AND PARTNERS TO ACT
LUSAKA, ZAMBIA: 22 March 2018
PsycHealth Zambia is deeply saddened by the increase in suicide rates in the country. This is in the wake of media reports of a 30 year old named man, who after allegedly killing his son and daughter aged 3 and 6 years respectively, took his own life. This was reported in the Daily Nation newspaper dated 22nd March, 2018. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) 800,000 people die due to suicide every year and there are many more who attempt suicide. Evidence further indicates that suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds and that 78% of global suicide occurred in low and middle income countries in 2015. The WHO data published in 2014 indicates that suicide rates in Zambia reached 1,346 deaths every year, ranking it at number 34 in the world. Mental problems do not only affect the person with the problem, but can have adverse effects on those around them, as reported in the story.
PsycHealth believes in championing mental health for all and especially for men and boys who may be culturally perceived to be strong/macho and non-expressive about their feelings. Furthermore, underlying causes of suicide, which can include depression, violence, or relationship problems need to be diagnosed early enough and professionally addressed. “Suicide is usually the final straw in persisting mental problems. For instance, we know that there is a danger in bottling up issues in marriage, and that can be a contributing factor for this [suicide],” says Mrs Kayumba Tambatamba, Acting Managing Partner at PsycHealth Zambia. Despite bottling up issues being a possible contributing factor, it does not in any way justify the action of taking away a life of another or self, nothing should.
It is possible that the named man may have suffered shame and embarrassment after some marital problems, which he considered to be confidential, were shared with the rest of the family. “The evidence is there, men are at more risk of having mental health problems than women, because our culture does not allow a man to feel, to cry, or to explore his emotions” says Ms Susan Ntengwe, a Psychotherapist at PsycHealth. “Suicide is preventable, through professional psychotherapy, and that is why we believe that the government and its partners need to take both policy and programmatic action to make mental health services accessible to everyone”, says Mrs Tambatamba. Mrs Tambatamba also notes that some individuals are generally more susceptible to thoughts of suicide and therefore any hint they give should be treated with a sense of urgency. “It is for this reason that PsycHealth Zambia offers free services for suicide interventions,” she says. PsycHealth condemns the act and believes that suicide is a result of other mental health challenges that stem from stress, depression, anxiety, fear or trauma. As a result, interventions we offer seek to deal with individual’s sense of worth and hope.
PsycHealth Zambia offers psychotherapy and professional psychological services. Our psychotherapists are committed to providing the most personalized, integrative, and skilled mental health services available and combine a rigorous, up-to-date scientific perspective with a humanistic, compassionate response to the struggles, disappointments and life challenges. Our approach enables us to provide therapy and consultation for current problems in a manner that fosters future wellness and adaptation.
For media interviews, or mental health assistance, including suicide intervention, visit us on 11 Buchi Road, Northmead, or call us on 0955 264975, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website and our Facebook Page.