Central East Police Region Women Network says the rising cases of suicide in the country could be reduced if men are able to open up to others on the problems they are going through in their lives and families.
Matron for the network, who is also Operations Officer for the region, Assistant Commissioner Modesta Jussa, was speaking in Kasungu during a sensitisation and awareness engagement the Women Police Network organised for male police officers in the region.
Jussa said suicide cases have risen to alarming levels and attributed the trend to men’s behaviour of not reporting or sharing their problems with others and consequently resorting to suicide.
Said Jussa: “We organised this meeting to engage male police officers to encourage them that, as individuals, they need not to resort to killing themselves when they face problems in life. They must open up to their spouses and even report the abuses they go through and share their other problems with fellows.
“We believe that in this way, they will also be in a better position to raise awareness on issues of suicide to the members of the community. We have taken the move after noticing that more men are committing suicide than women in the country.”
According to Jussa, of the 166 suicide cases registered in the region last year, 161 or 97 percent were men.
She expressed optimism that with the training, male officers will now be able to take a proactive role by sensitising fellow men in the community to share their grievances to relevant authorities, such as police and mental health clinicians so that they are helped with counselling.
Kasungu District Hospital mental health clinician Lolinda Matola, who was one of the lead facilitators, said men resort to killing themselves because of such factors as wrecked relationships, job related matters, financial problems and mental illnesses.
“Men are at higher risk of suicide because they have huge burdens and that they don’t share their grievances with other people hence they decide to end their lives. This calls for more sensitisation and awareness so that we reverse the trend,” said Matola.
One of the participants Gentry Lungu hailed the Women Network for organising the engagement which he said has come at the right time when more lives are being lost through suicide by hanging and taking pesticides.
Nearly 800, 000 people die by suicide in the world each year with rates.