The Lagos State Government has urged the male gender to break the culture of silence and always speak up to curb suicidal tendencies.
Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, Executive Secretary of the Lagos Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA), made the allegations in Ikeja during an event to commemorate International Men’s Day 2023.
The theme of the celebration was “Zero male suicides.”
Ms Vivour-Adeniyi said 703,000 people commit suicide every year and many more attempt it, making it the fourth leading cause of death among 15- to 29-year-olds globally in 2019.
She emphasized that every suicide is a tragedy that affects families, cities and entire countries, as well as the people left behind.
“Suicide is a global epidemic that affects all parts of the world, not just high-income countries. In fact, in 2019, over 77% of suicides worldwide were in low- and middle-income countries.
“Suicide is a serious public health problem, but it is avoidable with early, evidence-based and often affordable treatment.
“For national interventions to be effective, a comprehensive, multi-sectoral suicide prevention plan is necessary,” she said.
The Executive Secretary noted that while suicide in Nigeria is still considered a taboo, the alarming number has become alarming with statistics showing that the highest suicide rate is committed by men.
She mentioned that it was for this reason that DSVA commemorated this international day by encouraging men in their lives to teach boys the values, character and responsibilities of being a man.
“In light of this year’s International Men’s Day theme of Zero Male Suicide, one of the six pillars of the celebration is to focus on men’s health and well-being: physical, social, emotional and spiritual.
“Suicide remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Although just over two in three suicides worldwide are men, it is important to reduce the suicide rate among both men and women.
“To commemorate International Men’s Day 2023 with the theme ‘Zero Male Suicides’, the agency curated an initiative with the tagline ‘Break the Silence, Don’t Take Your Life, Seek Help to Discuss Various Issues Causing Depression and Other Forms of Depression.’ abuse of men.”
“This discourse is of great importance on this day as International Men’s Day (IMD) is a global day of awareness of the many issues that men face, including harassment, homelessness, suicide and violence, observed annually on November 19.
“We believe this would be an opportunity to further break the culture of silence that encourages SGBV to thrive,” Ms Vivour-Adeniyi said.
In her speech, Tolu Ajomale, Special Project Coordinator, Lagos State Ministry of Health, urged men to take proper care of their mental health.
Ms Ajomale stated that job loss could impact mental health; drug addiction; extreme poverty; gender-based violence; injury; chronic diseases; war; Loss of a loved one; stress at work; divorce, among others.
He urged men to always speak up and have at least five people they can rely on to discuss their mental health issues.
“The mental health statistics are very worrying and I think the numbers have increased even more since Covid-19.
“We are seeing more and more people struggling with their mental health in Lagos and every other part of the country, more than ever before,
“So they are disturbing and worrying, and they also give us an opportunity to start paying more attention to mental health, its importance and its impact on our daily lives,” Ms Ajomale said.