Gospel artiste and suicide prevention advocate, Samuel Akinyemi, popularly known as Psalm Ebube, has lamented the growing rate of suicide among youths and adults in Nigeria. The popular musician, who was recently honoured as African Civility Educator of the year 2021 by I Change Nations (ICN) USA, a global body, called for national suicide prevention strategies to reduce the rate of suicides in Nigeria.
“The absence of such strategy in Nigeria, is not only stalling the management and control efforts of suicide, but fuelling stigmatisation and discrimination of survivors of suicide and their relatives. Programmes draw on lay gatekeepers such as clergy, teachers, and first-line responders who receive special training. Along these lines, involving and training laypersons or non-specialised health professionals is an important means of suicide prevention, assessment, and management,” he said.
Psalm Ebube, founder of Stay Alive Civility Global Initiative and the international bestselling author of the book series, ‘Stay Alive’ tasked the relevant arms of government to act with urgency, the same energy used to fight COVID-19, should be put into suicide prevention. With an average of 15.1 suicides per 100,000 population per year, Nigeria is ranked 15th most suicide-prone nation in the world and 7th most at risk in Africa.