The Director General at the Mental Health Services, Dr Kwasi Osei, has revealed that victims of suicide in Ghana are mostly the youth and children.
At a press conference as part of the Mental Health Week Celebration under the theme ‘Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention’, Dr Osei noted that the World Health Organisation has put figures of people who die by suicide each year at more than 800,000, making it the principal cause of death among people 15 to 29 years old.
For the breakdown, every 40 seconds, the world loses someone to suicide.
In Ghana, according to Dr Kwasi Osei, data available as it stands from a study by an NGO some five years ago is 1,500 deaths per annum through suicide.
He added that by one single line alone, he had 45 calls from people ranging from 18 to 35 years most of them from relationship problems, socio-economic problems and pre-existing mental health challenges, which 60% of them were women and 35% were students.
The Director General for the Mental Health Services also stated that the country’s Criminal and Offences Act says attempted suicide is a misdemeanor but stated that since attempted suicide is oftentimes a sign of depression or some form of mental illness and a cry for help, they have sent a petition to Parliament and the Attorney General to decriminalized attempted suicide in the country.
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