It is possible to prevent suicide

Last week I wrote about people moving on after the death of a spouse, and the story was based on a lady who had lost her 19-year-old husband after he committed suicide in the family garage. Camryn, the wife, opened up about how he died and shared the full story with the aim of addressing anyone who could be in the same situation as her husband. She said it may seem like the easier way out but time taken to think of the people one would leave behind and the state they would be in should make them have a second thought.

Yesterday was World Suicide Prevention Day. This day, marked every September 10 since 2003 is aimed at raising awareness amongst people to protect their loved ones from suicide and help them deal with mental disorders. A post I put out on my social media pages attracted some personal experiences. A few were public while others were private messages. Hamiid said he had thought about committing suicide several times due to life experiences. That there were people who were out to make him suffer for life and at a point he thought suicide was the easier way out. In fact, he said many people think suicide is difficult but it is not. He survived because of his children who stood by him, encouraged and helped him see life differently. He says it is important for one to have a friend that they can trust with their life, so that at a difficult time where it is a matter of death and life, one can confide in their friend and probably hear words of encouragement that would save them.

 

In 2013 Stella Tushabe was suicidal, she felt unloved, unwanted and felt like she had no purpose, on the eve of her birthday that year she asked God to spare her the burden and take her life. He didn’t. She woke up the next morning; I am certain, with a purpose.

 

Jackie Kalisa urges us to be more supportive and loving without judging people that are suicidal. She emphasises the importance of us learning to listen to our loved ones and others around us.

 

Dr Patrick Singa, Medical Director at Babyl, believes when suicide happens society has failed the victim because suicide is a long process punctuated with requests for help. It is not an issue of weak character. It is a culmination of a disease. Unfortunately the issue is still very taboo.

Jackie echoes Dr Singa’s sentiments saying suicide is not a weakness or stupidity as many like to call it.

This year’s theme was ‘working together to prevent suicide.’ You and I have a role to play in preventing suicide, we need to protect our loved ones and help them deal with mental disorders. We need to pay attention to hear their inner voices as they cry for help, the two or three minutes you’ll spare to allow someone pour out their heart is what could make the difference. I have lost two relatives to suicide and I wish I had the information I have today about suicide back then, maybe I would have been there for them and they would have lived longer.

Let’s prevent suicide. 

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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