No justification for suicide, psychiatrists warn Nigerians

Mental health practitioners have emphasized that there are no life challenges severe enough to justify suicide. They conveyed this message in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, expressing concern about the increasing rate of suicide in the country. The practitioners emphasized that challenges are an integral part of life and should not lead individuals to consider suicide as an option.

Dr. Veronica Nyamali, the National Vice-President of the Association of Psychiatrists of Nigeria (APN), highlighted the importance of viewing life from a holistic perspective that encompasses both positive and negative aspects. She acknowledged the presence of challenges, including economic difficulties, in Nigeria but stressed the need for positive coping mechanisms rather than resorting to negative behaviors.

Dr. Nyamali suggested mental health education as a solution to help people understand that challenges are inherent to life. She emphasized the importance of changing the mindset towards challenges and promoting a better understanding of the role challenges play in personal growth and success.

Dr. Maymunah Kadiri, a Consultant Neuropsychiatrist, added that most suicides or suicide attempts are linked to mental health or psycho-social problems. She pointed out that issues like anxiety, depression, and hopelessness could contribute to such actions. Dr. Kadiri emphasized that identifying signs of depression, seeking help, and creating a supportive environment are essential in preventing suicide.

The practitioners suggested various measures for preventing suicide, including government interventions, restricting access to means of suicide, and providing early identification and care for individuals with mental health and substance use disorders. They urged individuals to seek help and surround themselves with positive influences when facing challenges.

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Pastor Sophy Mbanisi reinforced the message by stating that taking one’s life or the life of another is against the principles of life and spirituality. She emphasized that life belongs to a higher power and that resorting to suicide is not a solution to challenges. Mbanisi urged individuals to hold onto hope and seek spiritual support in times of difficulty.