However the pizza tasted wasn’t a matter of essence until the girl’s in the house got to tertiary. Whether the favorite ice-cream joint had relocated or closed was the least that mattered to the drunkard. Anyway, the men in the house and the drunkard would eat, but pizza and ice-cream wouldn’t be in the list of their delicacies.
Cancer, HIV/AIDS, war, accidents, to mention a few, were the main factors that claimed lives until for few decades now when suicide has become of global concern especially among the youth. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report in 2004, more teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia and influenza, and chronic lung disease combined.
CDC again reported in 2000 that a teenager commits suicide in every 90minutes. Overall, as many as 200 adolescents may attempt suicide for everyone teenager who actually succeeds in taking his/her life.
Narrowing the statistics down to the local level, in 2012, the Globe Newspaper revealed that the rate of suicide in Ghana was climbing at an incredible rate. The paper further reported that according to a statistics conducted by the Network for Anti-Suicide and Crisis Prevention, five Ghanaians commit suicide daily.
Moreover, the CEO of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, Dr. Akwasi Osei, in an interview with Daily Graphic in 2015 asserted that for every single reported case of suicide, there are four unreported cases.
Some psychologists suggest that the sharp rise in the stressors that teenagers are exposed to- in terms of academic and social pressure, alcohol, drug abuse and family difficulties provoke the troubled adolescent to take his/her own life (Lutbell et al, 2004).
Amidst the stress and the emotional distress that overwhelms people who commit suicide, the hidden problem has been their inability to open up to the closest persons to them, which leaves the puzzle always unsolved.
A couple of days ago, I asked my colleagues at work to give their perspective on why someone wouldn’t readily open up about his/her problems. The views they expressed centered mostly on trust and confidentiality. After having carefully listened to their submissions, I added the one most important thing I felt they had omitted in their responses: the JUDGEMENTAL NATURE OF HUMAN BEINGS.
It is so automatic, and likely, a firsthand reaction to judge someone when he/she narrates his/her troubles to you. Oftentimes, through gestures and speech we judge, albeit unconsciously. There have been several suggestions as to how to mitigate the spate at which suicide occurs which are all mostly true and practicable, but I say the most effective panacea is for us to work on our coexistence and relationships by consciously learning to refrain from judging people.
I may not be wrong to opine that majority of people at the brink of committing suicide imagine how the eyes of the society looks at them with judgment rather than mercy or sympathy. Meanwhile, if we were not judgmental and people could readily open up to us, then we could refer them to the appropriate quarters for professional care.
A lot has already been said about suicide never being the ultimate solution. Nonetheless, I beg to add that we vehemently strive to be agents who will strengthen the weak and the depressed with our testimonies of how we survived events that, otherwise, should have elicited suicidal ideations.
Here is my plea, henceforth, we should determine to herald the slogans, “Say No to Suicide- Be an Agent of Strength with your Story” and “Say No to Judging People’s Actions and Decisions”. It is my fervent hope that these two practices would bring a significant change in the suicidal scope of our society.