Psychiatrist, Dr Akwasi Osei, has warned that suicide cases could rise as the country progresses into a middle-income economy.
Dr Osei who is also the Chief Executive at the Mental Health Authority, said attention should, therefore, be paid to some of the psychological issues associated with countries whose economies have attained middle-income status.
Suicide “is going to happen more…because there is so much pressure. As we advance to a middle-income country, we should expect it,” he said this yesterday on Accra-based Joy FM.
He blamed the development on the lack of support, especially from extended families, to relatives in dire need “because the attention has now shifted to providing the needs of the nuclear family.”
“Now the extended family system has broken down so the traditional support by the extended family system has [also] broken down,” he acknowledged.
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death. Depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorders, and substance abuse — including alcoholism and the use of benzodiazepines — are risk factors.
Preventing suicide requires the efforts of many. It takes family, friends, co-workers, community members, educators, religious leaders, healthcare professionals, political officials and governments.
As the country joined the rest of the world to mark the World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) yesterday, the former chief psychiatrist expressed worry at the increasing number of cases of suicide among teenagers.
This year is the first WSPD with the theme: “Working Together to Prevent Suicide.” This theme is however, expected to be retained for WSPD in 2019 and 2020.