In order to increase awareness and encourage action for suicide prevention in the African continent, which the World Health Organization claims has the highest rates of suicide mortality worldwide, WHO launched a campaign.
It claims that the suicide rate in the African continent is greater than the global average of nine per 100,000 individuals, at about 11 per 100,000 each year.
According to a WHO statement, this is partly because not enough is being done to manage and prevent the risk factors, such as mental health issues, which impact 116 million people globally now, up from 53 million in 1990.
In order to reach 10 million people around the area, WHO launched a social media campaign ahead of World Mental Health Day on October 10.
In order to enhance attention and funding for mental health programming, including suicide prevention initiatives, it is necessary to promote public awareness and mobilize the support of governments and legislators.
As part of these efforts, health professionals are given the tools they need to support persons who are struggling with suicidal thoughts, and those who may have such thoughts are informed about the resources available.
Additionally, by educating the public on how to spot and assist individuals in need, you may work to reduce the stigma attached to things like alcohol and drug misuse, epilepsy, suicide, and these disorders.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the topic for World Mental Health Day 2022 is “Make Mental Health and Well-Being for All a Global Priority.”
Its purpose is to raise awareness of the value of mental health treatment and the requirement for improved access to medical services.
Six of the ten nations with the highest suicide rates worldwide, according to the WHO, are located in Africa.
According to it, self-poisoning with pesticides and hanging are the most popular methods in the area, with drowning, using a gun, jumping from a height, or taking an overdose of medication coming in second and third.
According to studies, there are roughly 20 suicide attempts for every suicide that succeed in Africa.
Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, stated: “Suicide is a huge public health problem and every suicide death is a tragedy. Sadly, national health programs rarely prioritize suicide prevention.
“Africa’s growing burden of chronic diseases and non-infectious problems including mental disorders that might lead to suicide must be addressed with significant investment.
“Mental health is essential for overall health and well-being, but too many people in our area who require assistance for mental health disorders do not get it.
“We need a fundamental shift now.
“Continued country efforts should be strengthened and expanded to make mental health treatment a priority across the African region,” said Moeti
Up to 11% of the risk factors for suicide are caused by mental health issues.
Government underinvestment is the biggest obstacle to providing appropriate mental health services in Africa.
Governments typically spend less than 50 cents per person on mental health. Even while it represents an improvement above the 10 US cents in 2017, it is still much below the low-income countries’ recommended $2 per capita. Furthermore, national health insurance programs typically do not cover mental health services.