Students And Youth Working on reproductive Health Action Team (SAYWHAT) joins the rest of the world in commemorating the World Suicide Prevention Day celebrated on the 10th of September every year.

Running under the theme: “Creating hope through action,” this day presents another opportunity to everyone to take action beyond raising awareness on preventing suicide. Losing more than 800 000 lives to suicide every year, globally, is enough provocation to all and sundry to stand up against suicide. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has it that suicide is one of the leading death among the young people worldwide. The latest available WHO data shows that 14 people out of 100,000 in the Zimbabwean population die due to suicide.

Recently, SAYWHAT through it various platforms has observed a spate of suicide cases involving young people including higher learning students. For the young people and students’ constituency, suicide cases have been attributed to depression. True to this fact, for the past six (six) months, SAYWHAT assisted more than 200 depressed young people and students by offering psycho-social support and counselling services. More than 30 percent of the 200 had contemplated committing suicide. While many young people linked their depression and mental health problems to infidelity in their relationships, some cases had a strong correlation with economic hardships and poor welfare issues. Drug and substance abuse also claims a share of suicide cases alongside Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) abuse.

Psychologists have warned that victims of all forms of abuse have higher chances of committing suicide. SAYWHAT is therefore pleading with law enforcement agencies to clamp down on perpetrators of all forms of abuse. All victims of Sexual Gender Based Violence among other forms of abuse are encouraged to speak out for them to get s support and justice.

In Zimbabwe, a week rarely goes by without a suicide case by a young person or a higher learning student. This is exposing the unavailability of professionally run and well-equipped mental health facilities to accommodate victims of depression and mood swings.

Suicide is a complex subject which may be difficult to comprehend at one count and thus reduces chances to curb the same. This is the reason everyone is needed in the fight to prevent suicide. It is therefore important to always pay a stricter attention to every small detail that depressed people may show.

As we commemorate this day, SAYWHAT is calling on government, the parliament of Zimbabwe and higher learning institutions: 

  1. To promulgate policies and legislation that strengthen responses to mental health challenges.
  2. To establish nationwide confidential suicide hotlines to urgently attend to suicidal tip offs.
  3. To introduce professionally and confidentially run facilities that offer psychosocial support and counselling services to all students and youths at accessible convenient places around Zimbabwe.  
  4. To introduce suicidal prevention modules in the education sector to educate students and young people about suicide prevention methods.
  5. To introduce recreational and affordable facilities for young people to exploit during their spare times.
  6. Reign into perpetrators of all forms of violence and abuse so that victims get justice and find closure.
  7. Introduce grants and social safety nets to students who are financially strained during their learning period at every tertiary institution.

SAYWHAT believes that attending to the above recommendations, suicide cases can be reduced especially among the young people.

Lastly, all young people, students, and youths across board, are encouraged to reach out to SAYWHAT for all their psychosocial support and mental health needs through the toll-free  577. Let us guard against suicidal thoughts. Let us work together to prevent suicide cases in Zimbabwe and abroad. Let us all act against suicide.

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