Youth suicide contagion

Written by on August 25, 2019

THE story of a teenage girl of Chama District, in Muchinga Province, Mark Ngulube, 18, who committed suicide by hanging herself to a tree after falling pregnant makes sad reading.

Sad because the act was hardly necessary and ending one’s life at that tender age is profoundly regrettable.

It has been noted that while youth suicide attempts in Zambia and elsewhere are more common among girls, adolescent males are actually the ones who usually carry out suicide.

Many youths in Zambia that fall under the category of sexual minorities are at a higher risk of depression and yielding to self-harm.

It is also the same group that reports a higher incidence of substance abuse, carrying a higher incidence of suicide and depression.

Some other schools of thought have suggested that exposure to suicide, previous attempts of suicide, and age are some of the most influential factors of young individuals and their probability of dying by suicide.

Adolescent exposure to suicide through classmates has caused researchers to hypothesize suicide as septicity.

Hostility too in families and its transference can be one of the main causes of diffusion of suicidal tendencies in families and youths.

At this point, we wish to agree with Muchinga Province police commissioner, Joel Njase, who has expressed concern with the increasing cases of suicide involving young people in the province.

“We are having too many suicide cases especially involving our youth and police wish to advise that committing suicide is not a solution when faced with whatever challenge,” he said.

He has advised the young people should take time to share their problems with elders in the community and understand that there is no champion without a challenge.

“Young people should always know that society needs them for sustainable national development and it goes without saying that a problem shared is a problem solved,” he said.

Mr Njase has also advised parents to understand the young people go through peer pressure and improve their approach in dealing with issues involving our children especially when they make mistakes.

He said the incident happened on Wednesday at 18.00 hours at Mwalala Village in Chief Kambombo’s area of Chama District.

“We received a report  from Thulu Fatwell, 35, of Katangalika village in Chief Kambombo’s area of Chama District who is also a ward councillor for Mwalala, that Mark Ngulube, aged 18, of the same address, committed suicide by hanging herself to a tree after she was discovered to be pregnant by her parents,” Mr Njase said.

Mr Njase said the body of Ngulube has since been handed over to the relatives for burial because foul play has been ruled out.

Experts have revealed that one can help prevent adolescent suicide by discouraging isolation, addressing a child’s depression which is interrelated with suicide.

Helpers should also get rid of any objects that a child could use to commit suicide and simply by paying attention to what the child does or feels.

We also strappingly believe that schools are a prodigious place to provide more education and support on suicide preclusion.

Since students or pupils spend most of their time at school, school can be either a harbor from or a source of suicidal triggers and peers can deeply influence their state of mind.

With the encouragement from the Church, we think, the school setting should be an ideal milieu to educate students on suicide and have support readily available.

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