The Lagos State Government emphasised the need for men to break the culture of silence and speak up to combat suicidal tendencies, as highlighted during an event commemorating the 2023 International Men’s Day in Ikeja.
Addressing the theme “Zero Male Suicide,” Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, the Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA), underscored the urgency of addressing the alarming rate of suicides among men. She emphasised the global impact of suicide, noting its devastating effect on families, communities, and nations.
“Suicide is a global epidemic that transcends borders, impacting both high-income and low-and middle-income nations. In 2019, more than 77 per cent of global suicides occurred in the latter group,” Vivour-Adeniyi remarked.
She stressed the importance of early and evidence-based interventions to prevent suicides, calling for a comprehensive multi-sectoral suicide prevention plan as a crucial step towards effective national interventions.
Vivour-Adeniyi highlighted the stigma surrounding suicide in Nigeria while acknowledging the concerning statistics, particularly regarding men, who have shown the highest rates of suicide. The DSVA commemorated International Men’s Day to encourage men to instil positive values and support systems for boys, fostering healthy masculinity.
Dr. Tolu Ajomale, the Coordinator of Special Projects at the Lagos State Ministry of Health, echoed the urgency of addressing men’s mental health. He highlighted various factors contributing to deteriorating mental health, emphasising the need for men to seek support and maintain open dialogue about mental health issues.
“The statistics surrounding mental health are deeply concerning, especially in the wake of COVID-19, which has exacerbated these challenges,” Ajomale emphasised. He urged men to build support networks and prioritise discussions about mental health with trusted individuals to tackle these issues effectively.