Some youths in Akure, Ondo State, on Tuesday marched round the city to raise awareness on the rising cases of suicide in the country and how the situation can be addressed.
Speaking during the awareness campaign, Chief Medical Director of Ondo State Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Dr Akinwunmi Akinnuoye, fingered the regular use of psychoactive substances as one of the main reasons why people commit suicide.
He said, “We all talk about suicide, I feel we are all at risk because the use of psychoactive substances is another major problem in our society today.
“The use of cannabis, cocaine, tramadol, these substances have ways of increasing the chances of users to commit suicide.
“After using these substances for long periods, it changes the chemistry and functions of the brain.
“And as such, it makes it very difficult for us to withstand distress and frustration as humans.
“Apart from increasing the rate of suicide along this direction, we observe that psychoactive substances are a clout for mental illnesses.”
Gbenga Adene, an entrepreneur who was also at the rally, said the rising spate of suicide especially among youths had become worrisome.
He pointed out that that there was the need to create support systems that could easily bridge the gap between depressed people and the government.
He said, “Suicide is just like a high level of depression or mental illness and we feel there should be systems in place that support people, show them love and compassion.
“Part of the reasons people commit suicide is due to financial constraints, poverty and unemployment in the country. This must be addressed.”