Mental health experts have expressed the need to address suicidal tendencies in youth.
In the past six months, there have been reports of youth committing suicide. In March, Brian Wetaka, a former student of Bachelors of Science in Chemical Engineering who had graduated in 2019, jumped from the North Hall building at Kyambogo and died.
Two other students at Kyambogo University were reported to have committed suicide in 2021.
Luyomba Nathan Mark who was pursuing a bachelor of Mechanical Engineering was found dead in his room and Beatrice Akol, a finalist pursuing Social Works and Social Administration committed suicide inside her uncle’s house in Seeta, Mukono.
On Tuesday, a student at Wanyange Girls’ Secondary School, Josephine Namuli, reportedly committed suicide by hanging in one of the dormitories.
Linda Nakalawa, a Psychotherapist at Akili Mental Health and Coaching Consultants says that rather than dismissing threats of suicide by youth, society needs to have a dialogue with the would-be victims.
Nakalawa also cautioned parents against the exposure of young adults to violence. She says that youth going through mental distress turn to bodily harm and suicidal tendencies with ease.
Dr. Hillary Irimaso, a Psychiatrist at Kampala Mental Health Clinic explained that suicidal tendencies among young people come about, because of the difficulties that are experienced amidst transition into adulthood.
The experts note that if a student develops suicidal tendencies, the risks of it happening can be curbed by taking care of the victim’s environment.
Dr. Irimaso advised society to look out for individuals with suicidal warning signs. He explains that the victims could get to extremes of reckless living, withdrawal from society, and extreme mood swings among others.
In a bid to address mental health challenges among students, Kyambogo University launched an anti-suicide campaign. The campaign involved extending counseling services to students in hostels, halls of residents, and classrooms.
Winfred Kyosaba the acting Senior Counselor at Kyambogo University noted that the campaign was rolled out in response to a public outcry following reports of suicide cases at the institution.
The World Health Organization indicates that more than 700 000 people die by suicide every year; that’s one person every 40 seconds. It also reports that suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds globally.
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