Suicide Help in Nairobi
The number of reported suicide cases in Kenya have surged over the recent past. Questions have arisen on the causes and why there is heavy casualties among the youths. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among those in the 15-29 age bracket. It is therefore vital for the society to start conversations around this malaise while highlighting prevention and where to seek suicide help in Nairobi.
What is suicide?
Suicide means ending one’s life. It is sometimes a way for people to escape pain or suffering. For a long time, the African culture has considered suicide as an abomination and the issue is not widely or publicly discussed. In addition, families who have suffered loss of loved one’s through suicide have been considered outcasts, leaving them with no supporting networks to help them through the difficult times.
Normally, suicide is whispered amongst friends and family members, and many are deeply astounded when a close one attempts or succeeds in a suicidal act, with questions such as, “Why?” arising again and again. In most cases, Suicide is associated with mental disorders, such as depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and alcohol and other substance abuse.
Rise in suicide cases in Kenya
In June, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics released data showing that the number of suicide cases reported in Kenya had risen by 58% between 2008-2017 and reached 421. The World Health Organization puts the statistics to 800,000 people annually, which means one person every 40 seconds.
Kenya is ranked as the sixth country with the highest number of depression cases among African countries. The WHO approximates that more than 300 million people are affected by depression globally and the condition is linked to the suicides of more than 800,000 people each year. Psychologists say that most people fail to ask for help because of stigmatization of mental illness.
The data also indicates that more men are likely to commit suicide than women with 330 out of 421 cases reported in Kenya involving men. This is because they use more lethal means than women.
Men are likely to commit suicide than women
According to a report by University of Nairobi released in 1982, there were more suicidal attempts than successful suicides in Nairobi at the time. “The majority of those who attempted suicide were found to be young, unemployed, had some formal education and were married women, most of whom were housewives. The majority of those who succeeded in killing themselves were older, employed and most of them were married men. In addition to that those who attempted suicide came from places far from Nairobi (long distance migration) and were generally dissatisfied with their marriage, occupation, income, education, place of residence and life achievement. The individuals who succeeded in killing themselves carne from places near Nairobi (short distance migration) and either stayed alone or with their relatives, while those who attempted suicide either stayed with spouses and children or parents and relatives. The majority of those who attempted suicide did so because of poor relationships with spouses, disagreements with parents,- losses and mental and physical problems. Those who succeeded in killing themselves did so because of problems with spouses, unemployment and poverty. The methods employed in suicide varied with the type of suicide. Those who succeeded in killing themselves used violent methods while those who attempted to do so used non-violent methods,” read the report in part.
Increasing suicide awareness in Kenya
The World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is commemorated annually on 10 September, and is organized by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) with the World Health Organization as the co-sponsor. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness around the globe that suicide can be prevented. In Kenya, the event was commemorated in Embu town, with this year’s theme being “Working together to prevent suicide.”
Professional help can be sought at counseling centers such as intrapersonal health. IPH is made up of committed mental health professional and medical doctors.