The recent spate of suicides among Ghanaian youth is similar to the Ebola crisis that hit some West African states a few years ago, Dr Yaw Mfodwo, a consultant psychiatrist and Chief Executive Officer of the Brain Clinic, has said.
According to him, the situation is epidemic following reported cases on a daily basis and should be blamed on the poor mental health service structures in the country.
Recently, two female students from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the University of Ghana (UG) committed suicide.
While the KNUST lady was a first year students who hanged herself with a rope in her room, the UG student, in her final year, jumped to her death from a storey building.
A man in his 30s was reported have committed suicide at Achimota in Accra while another 16-year-old Junior High School (JHS) student in the Eastern Region hanged herself in her parents’ kitchen.
Also, a lady believed to be a resident of Ekye-Amanfrom at Afram Plains in the Eastern Region has allegedly committed suicide. Her body was found hanging from a reservoir near the Ekye Presbyterian Health Centre on Monday, March 13.
Speaking on this development on TV3 network on Monday 13 March, Dr Mfodwo said: “[We need] to provide the option to say when someone is at that point how do we save them? Train hospitals and nursing staff, train people to identify the signs and symptoms and, importantly, to prevent or to stop that person from actually going ahead.
“…The state or the educational system…plus our poor mental health service structures could be causing these [but] let us stop beating around the bush. Look at the facilities that we have. Unfortunately, what is happening is a direct and indirect reflection of our poor mental health services. So, let us stop beating around the bush and stop the blame game.
“We have a crisis on our hands. This is similar, in public health terms, to what would have happened in the situation of Ebola and cholera, because people are dying. This is an epidemic – people are killing themselves every single day and this is even what is reported in the media, how much more what has not been reported in the media.”