LUTH initiates suicide prevention service

LUTH initiates suicide prevention service

With the spate of suicide on the increase as a result of economic, personal and other problems in the country, the management of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-araba, has set up a proramme geared towards stemming the tide and make intending ‘suiciders’ see reasons to live. KENECHUKWU EZEONYEJIAKU
Tagged “One More Day”, under the hospital’s Suicide Research and Prevention Initiative (SURPIN), the campaign according to its coordinator and a consult­ant psychiatrist, Dr. Raph­ael Ogbolu, is to counsel those who want to commit suicide due to challenges they are passing through, to reconsider their actions and postpone the act by one day.
Ogbolu, who said this in a press conference to an­nounce the campaign at the hospital last week, re­vealed that the intention of the programme is that when these kind of people contact the organisation through the provided hot­lines and they are counse­led to postpone their ac­tions by one day, they will be reached as soon as pos­sible and given a treatment plan.
He said: “Before one takes his own life, he is always at a point where he is con­templating whether or not to carry out the act. When this happens and they are able to reach us through our hotline or visits our office, we will get him to choose to postpone the ac­tion for one day; from that one day it will turn to one week, from one week, it gets to one month and through that way, we will make him to drop his intention and get his life prolonged.”
The Chief Medical Direc­tor (CMD) of the hospital, Prof. Chris Bode, in his address, expressed sadness at the unfortunate event recently, in which a medi­cal doctor took his own life by jumping into la­goon, stating that the hos­pital deemed it fit as the foremost tertiary hospital in the country to assist in stemming the tide.
Bode called on Nigerians to be their brother’s keep­ers and always enquire and look out for their state of mind at any moment in time.
He revealed that in the past two years, two peo­ple very close to him have taken their lives, stating that he still feels guilt in his heart till today that per­haps, there could have been something he would have done to get those people retrace their steps.
Also speaking at the event, the Head of Psychia­try Department (HOD), LUTH, disclosed that a study carried out by the department over a period of five years indicates that 10 per cent referrals the department gets is suicide related.
The HOD, who was rep­resented by a consultant psychiatrist, Yewande Os­hodi, further disclosed that every month, the depart­ment receives four cases of people who want to com­mit suicide, adding; “It has been reported that during their lifetime, about three per cent Nigerians have had thoughts about ending their lives, one per cent will plan on how to kill them­selves and just under one per cent will carry out an attempt to kill themselves.”
Oshodi also revealed that World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics shows that, approximately one million people die by sui­cide each year, and for eve­ryone who dies by it, about 20 more have attempted it.
Ogbolu, who urged peo­ple to desist from stigma­tization, which he noted is one main causes of suicide, finally called on people to seek for help whenever they are distressed while also encouraging Nigerians to also look out for unusual changes in the behavior and life style of loved ones and neighbours, most es­pecially when they have been befallen by tragedies, and seek help for them- The Authority

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