Byo records alarming suicide rate, majority committed by men

Bulawayo records about four suicide cases monthly mostly committed by males, police statistics show.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that about 800,000 people commit suicide every year.

The latest available WHO data on suicide, for 2019, shows Zimbabwe has a crude suicide rate of 14,1 deaths per 100,000 population.

Speaking on Community Connect, a platform for community development dialogue, Bulawayo deputy police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Nomalanga Msebele said the most affected demographic is the 20 to 38 years age group.

“Most people who commit suicide show intentions but most relatives and friends ignore the traits at the time they even mention it in passing and no one takes it up or inquire further. We call upon members of the public to be sensitive and be bothered if one mentions suicide (sic),” said Msebele.

The deputy police spokesperson added that suicide cases are high among men as they “don’t share their problems and end up opting to take their lives”.

“We call upon stakeholders to include men in their programming and have more programs or inkundla where men will sit down and talk. There are few such platforms as compared to organisations that deal with women,” said Msebele.

She noted that while they do regular awareness campaigns there are challenges in accessing platforms frequented by men.

Msebele added that most of the causes of suicide, according to suicide notes they find on the scene are domestic disputes, debt and life challenges.

She encouraged those who face challenges to visit the police’s community relations department for assistance.

“Go to any police station near your place of residence and ask for the community relations department officers. We also work with other stakeholders like Msasa, Contact, Justice for Children. Find help, suicide is not an option,” she said.

Assistant Inspector Msebele also revealed that they were also recording a high number of sudden death cases linked to binge drinking.

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