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Anambra Library marks World Suicide Prevention Day

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…Experts call for more actions to end suicide

SUICIDE has been described as a deliberate and very abominable act against God, one’s self, humanity and the society at large.

  The Anambra State Commissioner for Information, Sir Paul Nwosu made the assertion at a one-day event organised by the Anambra State Library Board, to mark the 2022 World Suicide Prevention Day.

   Speaking at the event which held at the Prof. Kenneth Dike State Central E-Library, Awka, Sir Nwosu revealed that data from the World Health Organisation show that more than 703,000 people commit suicide annually life after many suicide attempts; while, for every suicide committed, there are about 20 other people making a suicide attempt, and many more have serious thoughts of suicide.

   Dissecting the theme of this year’s event, “Creating Hope through Action”, the commissioner harped on the need to back up words with action and almsgiving in encouraging people who are depressed or facing some challenges that could lead to suicide, rather than just encouraging by mere words of mouth. He advised anyone nursing suicidal thoughts to always consult a psychiatrist or an expert, for counselling; and to open up to people for assistance, rather than die in silence. He further reminded people that suicide can never be an option.

   While appreciating the state library for hosting the event, the commissioner, who was also the special guest of honour at the occasion, called on government to improve the standard of living of the people to reduce hardships and sufferings, which, he said, are also parts of the reasons people nurse suicidal thoughts.

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     “By the time sufferings and hardships are reduced, people will think less of committing suicide,” he said.

   Earlier in her address of welcome, the Director, Anambra State Library Board, NkechiUdeze said the annual event was aimed at raising awareness about suicide and its prevention globally. She called for collaborative efforts and actions towards preventing suicide as the rate is regrettably on the increase.

  Dr. Udeze also advocated creation of centres which may not have the word ‘psychiatric’ in them, so that people who have depression or similar mental health challenges would willingly go there for counselling and medication, as, according to her, many people are usually reluctant to go to psychiatric centres because they see it as a place for mad people.

   Delivering a keynote lecture at the event, the Chief Medical Therapist of At Peace Centre and Clinics, Dr. Casmir Nnaemeka explained that suicide has a lot to do with mental illness, as, according to him, one who is mentally hygienic cannot think of committing suicide.

   He highlighted the various mental states and conditions that could cause someone to start thinking of taking his own life, and also charged anyone who experiences such to seek the services of a professional who can help him out; even as he called on therapists to always abide by the ethics of the profession in discharging their duties to avoid aggravating the situation.

   As part of their own actions towards preventing suicide, Dr. Nnaemeka, who doubles as the Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Psychological Association, announced that his organisation, At Peace Centre and Clinics, in conjunction with Prof. Andrew Zamani, and the Nigerian Psychological Association, is offering 100 free counselling services to 100 people from Anambra State, which he said, interested persons could get through visiting the At Peace Centre and Clinics at No.4 Emma Nnaemeka Street, Awka, visiting the ABS Headquarters in Awka, or visiting the Prof. Kenneth Dike State Central e-Library, Awka, to identify their interest.

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  Evangelist Mrs. IfeomaGodspower of the Godspower World Outreach Ministry, Awka, relied on some biblical passages to attribute suicide to negative thoughts caused by the devil and lack of knowledge of God and His word. According to her, Christ himself warned His disciples that there would be tribulations and sufferings in the world, but didn’t tell them to commit suicide when they begin to experience such things.

   She therefore recommended having full knowledge of the word of God, having strong faith and hope in God, and guarding one’s heart, as some of the solutions to evil and negative thoughts that could lead to suicide; while assuring that God is always ready to liberate those who trust and put their hope and trust in Him, irrespective of their situation.

   The well-attended event featured questions and answers session, poetry rendition, as well as a drama presentation on suicide by students of Candy International School, Awka.

   Celebrated annually on September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD), which started in 2003 is a global event organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), to raise awareness and provide global commitment and action towards preventing suicide.

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