World Mental Health Day: Salem urges FG to open suicide hotlines 

The Chief Executive Officer, Therapy Consult Bysalem, Mrs Salem Ogunlowo has urged the Federal Government to open suicide hotlines in a bid to reduce the suicide rate in the country.
Salem stated that the hotlines are extremely imperative because suicide is a resultant effect of not sharing feelings with the right persons.

She made this known at the roadshow campaign against suicide in commemoration of the World Mental Health Day held yesterday in Lagos.

Ogunlowo explained that government should recruit psychotherapists to man the hotlines in order to be able to give the right consultation.
“Government should open the hotlines and recruit therapists because I have found that the psychological problems that should be treated with therapists are medicated.
“They are looking for people who will listen to them because a lot of us have been so busy that we are not giving attention to these youths and so, they would go to wherever they would get this attention.
“I found out that a lot of youths these days are actually looking for validation. They are looking for acceptance. They are looking for love.
“The Psychologists would define suicide as the deliberate attempt to kill oneself. But it is much more than killing oneself.
“Trust me, suicide victims do not want to die. They are crying for attention. They want to be listened to. Suicide is a very terrible thing. It is not something you love doing.”
The therapist also urged parents to cultivate the habit of listening to their children, adding that encomium should not only be showered based on academic performance but also emotional intelligence.
“Parents should learn to listen to their children. Learn to befriend them. Learn to validate them. Don’t just applaud or celebrate their academic performance.
“So, you would realize that they are devoting their attention to all these devices that is promoting suicide.

“With the social media as an influencer, the children are being left to themselves. Parents just want to respect children’s privacy and all of that. They don’t know what their children indulge in.

“Look for the child who is emotionally intelligent and validate that. Celebrate the little success you see in children. Tell the children you are excellent and you are the best,” Ogunlowo said.

While giving reasons why people commit suicide, She identified anger, stress and the country’s situation as the challenges.

“You will find out that the present-day Nigerians are stressed. Anger is another issue. You also find out that the situation in the country is not helping matters.

“It all these that translates to depression and depression that is not diagnosed and treated will result to suicide.

“Years past, suicide was not with us as a country. It was something foreign but now we are practising it,” She said.


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