World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) was organized by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) in partnership with World Health Organisation (WHO) to be globally observed on 10th September of every year. The purpose of this day is to raise world wide awareness on the dangers of suicide and the awareness that it can be prevented.

Suicide is often related to serious depression, substance use disorders, and other mental health conditions. Individuals can also experience emotional and mental health crises in response to a wide range of situations such as difficulties in personal relationships, loss of job, excessive alcoholism and drug abuse. These and other circumstances play significant roles in triggering suicidal thoughts.

According to recent statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO), no fewer than a million people die annually from suicide which represents a global mortality rate of 16 people per 100,000 or one death every 40 seconds. Even more ominous is the fact that there are an estimated 10 to 20 million attempted suicides every year.

In the past, cases of suicide in our country Nigeria was seen as a taboo and rarely heard of. Sadly, our dear nation is gradually becoming a place where so many things that were considered taboo, now happen virtually every day and these include the extreme act of deliberately taking one’s life. Even without statistics, reports on suicide involving Nigerians have grimly moved from an occasional blip to a very disturbing trend.

There are numerous theories as to why some Nigerians now take their own lives. Perhaps, the nation’s present socio-economic environment, enormous emotional and financial stress as well as the pervading poverty could be predisposing factors causing depression and most times, suicide. Not to mention the variety of those who use themselves as suicide bombers which is now on the increase. There is need for us to do more to support those sufferings.

This year‘s theme is 'Connect, Communicate, Care’. Bear in mind that suicide prevention is the responsibility of all people. One small act such as reaching out to your suffering neighbor, offering support/aid to a friend or stranger, kind attitude and words of encouragement to that colleague, mate or church member can make a huge difference in such person's life. And we must remind our loved ones that seeking treatment in cases of mental health crises is not a sign of weakness but of strength.

If you are hurting, know this: You are not forgotten. You are never alone. My husband, His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Ezebunwo Wike's administration, with your support and prayers will do all within his power to see to the welfare of the people of our dear State especially in this present economic recession. One undisputable popular saying is 'once there's life, there's hope '. Let's keep our hopes up, knowing and believing that we all need each other - alive, hale and hearty.

God bless and keep you and your families.

From Her Excellency,
Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike,
The Wife of His Excellency,
Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike CON.
The Governor of Rivers State.

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