The Tema Metro Health Directorate has educated students at Chemu Senior High School about suicide prevention and ways of seeking solutions in stressful life situations.
The exercise held at the school’s premises was part of activities launched by the Ghana Health Service as part of public advocacy to mark World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD).
Mr. Pious Tay, the Mental Health Coordinator at the Tema Metro Health Directorate, speaking to the students, said suicide prevention was a daily concern, adding September was used to intensify awareness.
Mr. Tay said the signs of suicidal thoughts were feeling hopeless, having no reason to live, being trapped in a situation with thoughts of no solutions, feeling unbearable emotions, or having physical pains.
He said students should look out for each other, particularly when their peers talk about being a burden to others and withdrawing from family and friends, noting that such actions were part of suicidal behaviours.
However, not all red flags are obvious and they differ from person to person: some people are upfront about their plans, while others hide their suicidal sentiments and thoughts.
He said abusing substances such as alcohol or drugs could lead only worsen thoughts of suicide and make them feel impulsive enough to act on such thoughts.
The Mental Health Coordinator said the theme “creating awareness through action” for this year’s celebration was aimed at creating hope through action, thereby advocating for people to take action and not be judgmental of others.
“When people become helpless, guilty, and sick of ailments that have been with them for a long time, they can become tired of the situation and out of options and answers, which could lead to suicidal ideas,” he said.
Mr. Tay advised the teenagers to reach out to their teachers, parents, or close friends about their problems, even when it seems hard, or seek solutions from their faith leaders.
The students who shared their knowledge on the topic indicated that although they did not have such thoughts, the education had enlightened them more about such bad habits and had built confidence in them to face their challenges as they were part of life.