The Ghana Psychological Association has warned of the suicide prevalence among students following the marking of 2020’s World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10.
Suicide attempts occur in nearly three out of 10 Junior High School students and two out of 10 Senior High School students, according to the association.
Research evidence also shows that across second cycle schools, about two in 10 students report intentional self-injury or self-poisoning in their lifetime.
The World Suicide Prevention Day helps to bring suicide into focus and shed light on these occurrences.
“This day is a special day for calling the attention of national governments, organizations, and individuals to the urgent need to contribute meaningfully towards prevention of suicides,” the association said.
Statistics from the World Health Organization in 2012 has it that globally, more than 800,000 people take their lives annually, which equates to one suicide nearly every 40 seconds.
For each suicide that occurs in the world, more than 20 people attempt suicides.
The Ghana Psychological Association noted that there are a lot of factors that combine to push adolescents to suicide.
“In Ghana, evidence shows age-related suicide risk factors that intersect with other factors including gender, familial, cultural, and social, and economic. School and family-related factors such as bullying, poor academic performance, substance use, parental neglect, physical and sexual abuse, and financial constraints have been implicated in many adolescent suicides, alongside (cyber) bullying, romantic relationship crisis, and issues related to shame and dishonor.”
For example, adolescents who have suffered from some form of trauma have suicidal tendencies.
“For such adolescents, lack of safe outlets for ventilating their concerns lead them to risky behaviours such as unsafe sexual choices, substance use, self-cutting, self-poisoning, which all pose grave risks to their lives,” the association indicated.
The association thus urged Ghanaians to strive to better understand suicide and that stigmatisation, bullying, set back the genuine progress in fighting the issue.
The Ghana Psychological Association is a professional organization representing psychologists in Ghana.