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Nigerians mark International Men's Day with focus on zero male suicide

A man walks in the streets of Abuja, Nigeria.   -  
Copyright © africanews
@Michael Dibie


As the rest of the world marks the 2023 International Men’s Day (IMD) an advocacy has been made for zero male suicide.

On November 19, International Men’s Day celebrates worldwide the positive value men bring to the world, their families and communities. Highlighting positive role models and raising awareness of men’s well-being. Theme for 2023 is “ZERO MALE SUICIDE”. Together we can stop male suicide.

According to a 2023 report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 700,000 people commit suicide annually, apart from many more who attempt suicide globally.

WHO Africa said in 2022, that the suicide rate for men on the continent was at 18 per region, compared to 12.4 per 100,000 population globally.

Some Nigerians say the scourge is so imminent in the country currently due to the hard economic challenges the country is facing.

“Men commit suicide one, because they do not have work that can put food on the table, two marital issues can contribute to it too, if one ventures into ban marital relationship,” Bassey Emmanuel, a civil servant thinks.

“The pressure some women give to their husband make them to die earlier, if you look at the number of years men spent on earth, you will find out that some men die at the age of 60 while the wife stay till 90 to 100 years and if you check, the gap is too much,” says Chidi Emmanuel, a driver.

Experts described suicide as an emerging serious public health issue with greater consequences.

A Mental Health Counsellor Dennis Agbeti says the major thought in the minds of depressed people is lack of love.

“There are lot of reason why people get into depression and begin to think of suicide The first one is a feeling of hopelessness, you know the saying,” where there is life, there is hope” but the reality of it is that where there is no hope, there may be life. So when people loss hope, the next thing they think about is ending it all. lack of hope can lead to depression and make someone to think of suicide,” he added.

According to him, there is a need to reduce the stigma attached to mental health issues especially towards men because when it comes to suicide, almost 70 percent case are men.

“We need to create awareness, people need to be taught about mental health, how to regulate their emotions and how to take care of themselves.

So we need to teach men that they deserve to be cared for, they deserve to take care of themselves, he said.

The consequence of a suicide action is that it is a tragedy that affects families, communities and the larger society, with long-lasting negative effects and impact on the people left behind.

Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15–29-year-olds. 

The UN SDG Target 3.4, seeks reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being not later than 2030.

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