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Spike in suicide cases continues unabated

Spike in suicide cases continues unabated

The latest national suicide statistics reveal that 679 people committed suicide between January 2021 and May 2022, with the bulk of the cases being both adult and juvenile males a government official said this week.

The numbers continue to spike despite having launched a suicide prevention task force last year to deal with the rising number of suicide cases.

“The national statistics are very concerning, and this is an indication that all of us need to respond to suicidal behaviors. Different interventions with men and boys are strongly required in this case,” said the Ministry of Health and Social Services deputy minister, Dr. Esther Muinjangue on the occasion of a Khomas Suicide Prevention Taskforce awareness event in Windhoek.

According to Muinjangue, the regional suicide statistics from January 2021 to May 2022 all 14 regions recorded suicide cases, with the Omusati Region topping the list with 105 incidents; Ohangwena in the second position with 100 cases, and Khomas region in third with 80 cases.

It is important to note that the three regions, Omusati, Ohangwena, and Khomas which topped the list were also the same three regions that reported the highest number of suicides from January 2020 to June 2021, she said.

“Based on this, Omusati, Ohangwena, and Khomas regions need to double their efforts in the prevention of suicidal behavior. However, all of us need to join hands in the fight against suicide in our country,” she said.

According to Muinjangue, there also has been a dramatic rise in the frequency and magnitude of suicide and mental health incidents such as emotional, psychological, and social well-being of people in the country recently; threatening large populations living in diverse communities.

“If these trends continue, the costs associated with suicide and negative mental health incidents will continue to increase and place more people at risk,” she said.

The national statistics as received by Namibia Police Force show that the common methods used by people for suicide incidents are hanging (most used), shooting (second most used), battery water, drowning, cutting throat or neck, stabbing, poisoning, and burning.

“Suicide is 100% preventable, Namibia has a low population compared to other countries, and hence the health ministry and the task force have prioritized efforts to prevent suicide in the country,” she concluded.


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