A community psychiatry nurse at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Francis Yeboah has lamented the increase in suicidal cases among men in Ghana.
While speaking on Joy Prime on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, he revealed that the total number of people in the country who take their lives annually is 1,500.
“I think men are twice the number of females that commit suicide every year,” he said.
He blamed this development on the Ghanaian societal demands on men and the lack of emotional support.
Mr Yeboah explained that many communities “assume men are supposed to behave in a certain way in our lives… you know in the journey of life a lot of things come together and emotion is no respecter of gender.”
“So when a man is facing a crisis, it’s assumed by the community that you don’t need to cry, you need to be hard on yourself, so when he’s trying to exhibit his emotions, you hear other men questioning his manhood”.
“Some of these things make men suppress their emotions and we don’t create an outlet for these emotions to exit which creates a built-up tension in the man leading to suicidal thoughts,” he disclosed.
Adding her voice, Dr Abigail Harding, who appeared on the show, noted that among the numerous reasons people commit suicide, divorce and relationship issues are the leading causes.
“Divorce and break up are some of the top reasons why we get a lot of people thinking of carrying out suicide”.
“There is a lot of emotional investment that goes into relationships and some would even say financial investment that goes into it when you look at the different factors, someone attached so closely to someone possibly for many years, they’ve invested so much of their lives into them”.
“It can take a toll on their mental well-being and that makes them more likely to have these thoughts and when you combine it with the mental vulnerability they may have because about 95 percent of people who commit suicide have a mental health condition so when you compound it, it makes it more likely that they will carry out suicide,” she explained.
Meanwhile, Parliament has amended sections of the Criminal Offenses Act of 1960, which makes attempting to take one’s own life a crime.
Following the amendment in Parliament on March 28, persons who attempt suicide will be considered as having mental health issues requiring assistance by law rather than imprisonment.