By Akeem Abas
Ibadan – Some mental health experts have called on Nigerians, especially the youths, to refrain from suicide in the face of surmountable life challenges.
They made the call on Thursday during the World Mental Health Day celebration held at the Osuntokun Auditorium, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the event was organised by WHO in collaboration with Centre for Research and Training in Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Neuroscience at the university.
Dr Victor Makanjuola, a Consultant Psychiatrist at the college, urged Nigerians to always embrace whatever they were going through as a challenge that could be tackled without resorting to negative alternatives.
He said that the theme of the 2019 edition of the annual event entitled, ‘Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention, ‘ was timely considering current developments.
“Suicide is on the increase and we have a lot of young people coming to an abrupt end of their lives.
” The message in the global community of mental health is to encourage young people to have hope.
“They should not truncate their lives prematurely. Also, we encourage them not to try the alternatives in making themselves happy.
“Those alternatives or negative alternatives include things like drugs, use of alcohol excessively as well as use of illicit drugs like cannabis, tramadol, codeine and other common drugs.
“That is a devil’s alternative to the challenges they are having and it can only bring even more sorrow and more pains by causing more mental health challenges if they take these alternatives,” he said.
Also speaking, Dr Olatunde Ayinde, a Consultant Psychiatrist at the University College Hospital in Ibadan, urged Nigerians to always identify those suffering from any form of mental problem very early and refer them for treatment.
“What we always emphasise all the time is that people who attempt suicide are people who are in distress.
” People who have emotional and social problems are people who can’t help themselves.
“You know, the whole thing is in the brain. People have a lot of side pain, pain in the brain, a lot of social issues, a lot pressures that they can’t deal with.
” So, what they need is help. What they need is a lot of help, a lot of attention,” he said.