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679 cases of suicide have been reported in Namibia since last year, of which 82% were men.

The Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, stated that the suicide rate among men is high because men are discouraged from seeking help because they are often labelled as weak.

In a speech delivered on his behalf at the conference on mental health and psychosocial support for men at Oshakati, Health and Social Services Minister Dr. Shangula said mental health is one of the current public health crises globally.

The conference coincided with the month of September, which is dedicated to suicide prevention through interventions both at the personal, institutional, and community levels.

Mental health is found among people of all ages, irrespective of their societal classes, race, educational background, or gender.

Men often find it difficult to cope because of myths such as ''men don't cry'', resulting in them bottling up their feelings.

Men are therefore urged to support one another and cultivate a future where they can embrace their emotions and seek help unreservedly.

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Tonateni Haimbodi