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150 suicide cases recorded in 5 months

MHONE—The arrests were a problem

By Patience Lunda:

At least 150 people have committed suicide from June to October this year, out of which 121 are men, a development which health authorities say is worrisome.

The revelation was made on Saturday during Mental Health Day commemorations which St John of God Hospital organised in Mzuzu.

The hospital’s Programme Manager, Christopher Mhone, said men fail to admit weaknesses due to society values and that has resulted in more suicide cases among men more than women.

“We are no longer having cases where people who have been caught intending to commit suicide have been arrested. The arrests themselves were a problem, so encouraging people to seek counselling is the way to go if suicide cases are to be reduced in the country,” Mhone said.

He then commended government entities, such as the Malawi Police Service, for encouraging people to visit one-stop centres which offer counselling to people who have been subjected to various forms of abuse that are likely to affect their mental health.

Mzuzu Central Hospital Mental Health Nurse, Elite Nkowani, called on men to report cases of abuse to relevant authorities.

“We have now started receiving a lot of reports of abuse by women and girls at the one-stop centre but we are also encouraging men to come forward and receive the help they need,” she said.

However, Kenneth Chaona, a lecturer at Ekwendeni College of Health Sciences, who presided over the event, highlighted the need for people to take an immediate action when people start showing signs of committing suicide.

According to the World Health Organization, there is a suicide case every 40 seconds in the world.

The theme for the World Mental Health Day was “working together to prevent suicide”.

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