The Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Utjiua Muinjangue, says the sharp increase in suicides in the country can be mitigated through collective efforts in assisting those at their lowest ebb.

Dr Muinjangue made these remarks at the World Suicide Prevention and World Mental Health Day commemorations in Tsandi, Omusati region.

The Deputy Minister says mental health promotion and suicide prevention are directly linked.

Suicide and mental health disorders have been on the rise in Namibia in recent years.

According to figures provided by Dr Muinjangue, a total of 790 people took their lives between January 2021 and July 2022. 649 of them were adult males, whilst 102 were adult females, and 39 were under the age of 18.

Omusati Region tops the list of suicide cases, totalling 124. 99 of them were adult males, 19 were adult women and six were youths.

Suicide attempts amount to 179, which are all female youth.

"These are alarming numbers and I would like all of us here today to be that hope in the circles we move in and encourage ourselves, family members, friends, and colleagues at work to seek professional help. I believe that when we as a community stand together to create that hope, we can certainly prevent suicide. People should not be ashamed to talk about how they feel."

Speaking at the same event, Omukwaanilwa of Uukwaluudhi Shikongo Taapopi, whose message was read on his behalf, encouraged Namibians to be more receptive to those in need and not laugh or mock them when they approach them for help.

He said suicide deprives the country and families of their loved ones, which causes additional problems, and he encourages people to talk to trusted people or seek professional services from the government, which are provided for free.

"Nowadays things have really changed for the worse. People don't want to talk about their problems with anyone so that they can be assisted. These problems then burden them, leading them to commit suicide, which is not good. Some problems can be resolved. Let's seek help at all times."

The event was held under the theme 'Make mental health and wellbeing a global priority'.

Photo Credits
Windhoek Observer


Ndapanda Shuuya