World Mental Health Day observed in the capital

More than 200 people on Thursday marched celebrated World Mental Health's day under the theme working together to Prevent Suicide.

In a speech read on his half, Minister of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) Kalumbi Shangula said Suicides and suicide attempts have a ripple effect that impact on families, friends, colleagues, communities and the society as a whole.

Shangula added that each year, suicide ranks among the top leading causes of death globally of all ages.

The Minister noted that the World Health Organisation estimated that suicided amount to 800 000 death per year which equates to one suicide every seconds between the age of 15 to 29 �years-old.

In Namibia, between April and September 2019 social workers in the MoHSS dealt with a total of 719 attempted suicide while the Namibian Police reported a total of 178 person who died as a result of suicide between April and July this year, he said.

Shangula in addition stated that MoHSS study in 2016 on the prevalence and interventions in relation to suicide in the country revealed that the highest death due to suicide is amongst the age of 25 to 35 �years �old.

He further noted that more men died from suicide than females while 25 000 people attempted suicides in 2015.

Shangula also said reasons for suicide attempts are depression, hopelessness, worthlessness, death of loved ones, mental illness relationship problem, desperation, gambling and witchcraft amongst others.

Namibia was ranked at 13 place in the World and recognised in 2017 as leader in suicide and ranked at number four in Africa, Minister said.

Shangula also said mental health is heavily stigmatized in Namibia and remain a major obstacle to suicide prevention efforts.

The minister appealed to the community leader, particularly regional councilors, head of health facilities, parents and clients to promote mental health and prevent suicide in our communities.

At the same event, World Health Organisation Charles Sagoe-Moses remarks read on his behalf congratulated Namibia for being one of the few countries to have a National Suicide Prevention Strategy globally and now in the process of drafting a second strategy on suicide prevention.

Source: Namibia Press Agency