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Nabdam: Economic hardship accounts for 16 attempted suicide cases recorded in 2023

Nabdam District Mental Health Coordinator, Maclean Abuntoo.

By Peter Agengre

The number of attempted suicide cases in the Nabdam District has increased to sixteen, up from two in 2022. The observations revealed that suicide rates saw a significant increase, predominantly among men.

Employment status also acted as a major factor, with those unemployed experiencing increased risks of falling prey to negative thoughts and mental illness.

In the same vein, employment didn’t necessarily prevent people from stress and anxiety, which could be due to increased burden and pressure.

In all cases, suicide attempts escalated for both men and women. These observations came up at the 2023 Annual District Health Performance Review meeting of the Nabdam District Health Directorate in the Upper East Region.

The Nabdam District Mental Health Coordinator, Maclean Abuntoo, intimated that these cases were detected during home visits by the officers in charge of the various five sub-districts in the Nabdam area.

“From the history taken so far, we realised that economic issues were one of the many reasons for the rising numbers in the attempted suicide cases. We noted that financial crises led more people to visit hospitals for mental health issues, especially women and those with lower incomes.  It is either they are unable to afford food items, pay bills, pay school fees or pay for other services. And they thought that suicide was the best alternative,” Mr. Abuntoo emphasised.

“Again, there are issues of marital problems and substance abuse. Somebody who is married has a problem with his or spouse and thinks taking the life is the option. Others go to take in substances like alcohol, cocaine and other things and when they get elated, this might result in suicide attempt,” Mr. Abuntoo gave further details of the report.

Suicide has become a major public health concern in the country and is the second leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults. Despite substantial prevention efforts, suicide, depression, and nonfatal self-injury rates have seen unprecedented increases across the country.

According to the Nabdam District Mental Health Coordinator, Maclean Abuntoo, he is afraid that if the directorate records up to twenty cases of attempted suicide, it will be very bad for the District.

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