Suicide in the spotlight

Khomas Suicide Prevention Taskforce launched

12 September 2021 | Local News

Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services Esther Muinjangue launched the Khomas Suicide Prevention Taskforce, a multi-sectoral unit that will strive towards achieving zero suicides.
The initiative aims to create awareness and educate communities on suicide, as well as implement interventions to prevent suicidal behaviour.
The campaign was launched in Windhoek on Friday, which also marked World Suicide Prevention Day.
In her address, Muinjangue raised concern about the alarming number of deaths by suicide in Namibia. She said everyone needs to act to prevent it because Namibia, with its small population, is losing many lives to suicide.
Muinjangue said studies have shown that Namibia has one of the highest suicide rates in the world and the fourth highest suicide rate in Africa. Recent statistics showed that in Namibia, 745 people took their own lives between January 2020 and June 2021, while 1 172 people attempted or thought of committing suicide within that same period. Of those who committed suicide, 609 were men and 35 children under the age of 18. The Khomas region recorded 99 suicides and 330 suicide attempts.
“Each and every suicide is devastating and has a profound impact on those around them. However, by raising awareness, reducing the stigma around help-seeking behaviour and encouraging well-informed action, we can reduce instances of suicide in our region; in our country; on our continent and in the country,” Muinjangue said.
Taskforce chairperson Tuhafeni Talia said they aim to reach out to the community in various constituencies and engage them on suicide, adding that the taskforce plans to conduct information-sharing activities with community members and undertaking crisis intervention. They will also refer or link clients to relevant resources or services.
“The team will provide information on suicide prevention to survivors of suicide loss and those who attempted suicide or who are feeling suicidal, and will also conduct training on suicide prevention with various professionals such as healthcare workers, wellness officers, life skills teachers and police officers,” Talia said. – Nampa

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