Mrs Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA), has said that two in every three people who die by suicide are men.
This is as she enjoined the male gender to break the culture of silence and always speak up, so as to curb suicidal tendencies.
She gave the charge at Ikeja during an event to commemorate the 2023 International Men’s Day.
The theme of the celebration was ”Zero Male Suicide”.
Vivour-Adeniyi said that every year, 703,000 individuals committed suicide, with many more attempting to do so, and it was the fourth highest cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds worldwide in 2019.
According to her, every suicide is a tragedy that impacts families, towns, and whole countries, as well as the people who are left behind.
”Suicide is a global epidemic that affects all parts of the world, not only high-income nations. In reality, low-and middle-income nations accounted for more than 77 per cent of global suicides in 2019.
”Suicide is a severe public health issue, but it is avoidable with early, evidence-based, and frequently low-cost treatments.
”A comprehensive multi sectoral suicide prevention plan is required for national interventions to be effective,” she said.
The Executive Secretary said that though suicide in Nigeria was still regarded as a taboo, but the alarming rate had become worrisome and statistics indicated that men have the highest rate of suicide.
She said that it was for such reason that the DSVA commemorated the international day, to encourage men to teach the boys in their lives the values, character and responsibilities of being a man.
”In light of the theme for this year’s International Men’s Day, 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, while just over two in three suicides on a worldwide basis are men, it is important to bring down the suicide rate for both males and females.
”To this end, to commemorate International Men’s Day 2023 with the theme: ”Zero Male Suicide”, the agency has curated an initiative tagged: `Break the silence, Don’t take your life, Seek help to discuss various issues that cause depression and other forms of abuse against men’.
”This discourse is of utmost importance on this day because, International Men’s Day (IMD) is a global awareness day for many issues that men face, including abuse, homelessness, suicide, and violence celebrated annually on November 19.
”We believe that this would be an opportunity to continue to break the culture of silence, which encourages SGBV to thrive,” Vivour-Adeniyi said.
Also speaking, Dr Tolu Ajomale, the Coordinator, Special Project, Lagos State Ministry of Health, urged men to take proper care of their mental health.
Ajomale said that one’s mental health could be affected by loss of job; drug abuse; extreme poverty; gender-based violence; trauma; chronic diseases; war, loss of a loved one; work stress; divorce, among other issues.
He urged the men to always speak up, and have at least five persons they could rely on, to discuss their mental health issues with.
”The statistics of mental health are very worrying, and I think since COVID-19, the numbers have even increased more.
”We have seen an increasing number of people who are struggling with their mental health today in Lagos and in every other part of the country, more than ever before,
”So, they are alarming, concerning and they also bring an opportunity for us to begin to draw more attention to mental health, the importance and the impact on our day-to-day life,” Ajomale said.