…As psychologist explains why suicide is rampant in Nigeria
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
CHAIRMAN and Chief Executive Officer, CEO of Lysi Regimen Global Limited, Adebukola Ayelabola, has explained why she launched a crisis centre to arrest the spate of suicide in the country.
This came as a psychology lecturer in the Department of Psychology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Dr Michael Okpala, attributed suicide cases in Nigeria to unemployment, job loss, high cost of living and among others.
Speaking at a summit in Abuja, Ayelabola, who is a certified therapist and member of the American Board of Hypnotherapy, ABNLP, said: “We live in a world where mental or mind pain is considered less dramatic and of lesser importance when compared to physical pain. As a general rule, it is difficult to talk about one’s challenges: emotional, psychological and social wise, as people either do not understand or pretend not to understand these particular areas of challenges.
“Suffice to say that whole mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood to adolescence and through adulthood. I come from a part of the world where a considerable measure of stigmatization has been attached to mental illness and not just these, any protracted form of physical illness. Lysi Regimen is a culmination of my life’s journey. But most specifically two major life-defining experiences have pushed me into the pursuit of this dream.”
Speaking to journalists, Dr Michael Okpala who represent the national President of Nigeria Psychological Association, Prof. Michael Ezenwa explained that culture, social and economic reasons could cause one to commit suicide.
He said: ” We are looking at the interpretation of events, how people interpret events. When you look at the interpretation, you will know that people’s belief system plays a role because if I perceive a problem being insurmountable it means I have resolved that I am defeated by the problem which now limits me to start seeking for a solution. The pressure people are taking going by what is going around them could be too much, perhaps that explains the reason why their resources to cope is overwhelmed.”
While narrating her experience and how her family lost her younger brother as a result of jaundice and the stigmatization the family had gone through, she said that the rescue centre was one of the products of her experiences.
She said: ” Rescue Centre came to me in a dream. I woke up with three words deeply impressed into my consciousness: Rescue, Respite and Resuscitate. With this, I can confidently say that my focus is to see an emotionally and behaviorally healthy world of people living and functioning optimally for individual and communal productivity and progress through the use People, Process and Technology.
“Last year during a conference I received a positive word of assurance which encouraged me to pursue relentlessly the opening of Lysi Regimen’s Rescue Center.”
“Notwithstanding, we have facilities around that could be of help, inability to access these facilities could also be the reason people are taking their lives because when you disclose that you are having a problem then people will know how to help you. Another point is that the general population could be that they are not even aware signals of who is about to commit suicide in order to know how to help such a person. Suicide is one of the symptoms of depression, the major risk factor of suicide is depression. Suicide is a process that starts with an attempt.”
He said that feeling of worthlessness could cause one to commit suicide, adding, “it could come from culture, it could be social or economical. Looking at socioeconomic in Nigeria, perhaps, unemployment could be a factor, perhaps, job loss could be a factor, perhaps, high cost of living could be a factor, but mind you in as much as these people are coping poorly with what is happening, there are still people that are coping positively. “