Head of the Psychiatric Department Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Dr. Gordon Donnir, has emphasized the need for suicide threats from people suffering from depression to be taken seriously.
Dr. Donnir indicated that “people who are depressed have poor coping mechanisms to deal with life problems and unable to recognize alternatives to solve their problems – they see death as the only option”.
He said at the “suicide planning stages” they would give hints such as confessing to close relatives and associates that they want to die, while others become extremely isolated and would not be their “normal self”.
In the case of children between the ages of 10 and 19, he said, “their grades would begin to drop, they would throw tantrums and are rebellious”.
“Some of them would resort to substance abuse to deal with emotional distress. These clues should prompt people to seek professional help for the sufferer.The right place to go is the hospital to see a psychiatrist but not a prayer camp,” he stated.
He spoke against the situation where people with depression are stigmatized.
He also cautioned journalists to avoid being overly simplistic and sensational in their news reports on suicide that could encourage others to commit the act.
He reminded parents to do everything to make the home environment congenial for every child and resist the temptation to force them into academic careers they have no interest in or love for.