With the recent increasing rate of Suicide in Ghana, many are beginning to wonder if a messenger of suicide is currently in the country on a special assignment!
While still lamenting over the four different suicide cases that have taken place across the country just in three weeks, reports of two more came in just yesterday, Monday the 13th of March; bringing the number to six in less than a month!
Firstly, a middle-aged man was found on Monday morning hanging dead on a neem tree at the Jerich Agric Park in Ashaiman, Greater Accra. According to close-by residents, the man was found in that position by some of them who came out to answer nature’s call in a nearby bush early that morning.
Confirming the incident, Assembly Member for the Nii Doku Electoral Area, Yusif Gariba, said he was informed of the incident by one of the watchdog committee members around 6:00am. And on getting to the scene, he saw that it was true.
It was concluded then that the deceased is not a resident of Ashaiman, since nobody in the area was able to identify him nor give any hint on what led to his committing suicide at the moment.
However, subsequent reports revealed that the man was a driver, by name Bright Wovi. It was reported that the man recently gave in to alcoholism and always quarreled with is mother days before he committed the act. It was also gathered later from some people who knew him, that he has of recent been behaving in an abnormal way.
Later on the same Monday, another report came in that a 26-year-old woman whose name was given as Leticia Amaki has hanged herself at Akye Amanfrom in the Affam Plains South district of the Eastern Region. According to reports, the woman was found hanging on a rope by a water reservoir close to the Akye Amanfrom clinic.
The security guard on duty at the clinic said that Leticia may have committed the act last night after paying a visit to her mother who was on admission at the clinic.
Although the actual reason why Leticia who is married with two children took her life is yet unknown, close sources say the deceased has been battling with an on and off mental ill health for sometime now and is also on the verge of being divorced by her husband.
Recent Cases of Suicide in Ghana
Suicide in Ghana is beginning to reach an alarming and quite disturbing rate this time around. As mentioned earlier, six different cases involving young people have been recorded in less than a month. This may however, not be all as these ones that came to public notice as a result of their nature. Here are the recent ones according to their respective dates of occurrence.
24th February, 2017
An 18-year-old 100 level Chemical Engineering student of The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Adwoa Agyarkwa Anyimadu-Antwi took her own life by hanging herself with a rope over a ceiling fan inside her hostel room. Read on…
Tuesday, 7th March, 2017
A 16-year-old JHS 2 student of Child of Hope Basic School in Tafo, Barbara Asante killed herself, by hanging over a ceiling fan in their kitchen. Read on…
Wednesday, 8th March, 2017
A 23-year-old final year student of Consumer Science at the University of Ghana, Jennifer Nyarko, reportedly jumped down from the fourth floor of her hostel, an incident which saw to her death on the spot. Read on…
Saturday, 11th March, 2017
A 30-year-old driver, James Ayiem, allegedly committed suicide at Half-Assini in Western Region. He was found hanging on a mango tree with a twine near the Presbyterian Church at Peace Town, Half-Assini around 6: 00 am that day.
Calls to Invest in Mental Health
It has always been a very difficult task to ascertain what led to a particular incident of suicide, since the person involved is always the one who knows exactly what inspired his action. However, it is very clear that a greater percentage of the causes are related to issues of mental health.
Dr Joseph Osafo, a Clinical Psychologist and Suicidologist at the University of Ghana, is blaming the government for the increasing rate of suicide in Ghana. According to Dr Osafo, government’s failure to invest adequately in the mental well being of her citizens widely contributes to the problem.
He decried the lack of seriousness in terms of government investments and support for mental health, pointing out that many incidents of suicide could have been prevented if there was a proper and effective mental health system in the country
To curb this increasing rate of suicide, Dr Osafo said that public education must be increased to enable them identify signs of suicide in suicidal people. He also emphasized the need for the public to offer comfort and support to people who go through traumatic experiences, to avoid pushing them into entertaining the pathetic thoughts of ending their misery by committing suicide.
Occultism to Blame for Suicide – Rev. Owusu Bempa
Prophet and Reverend of the Glorious Word Ministries, Isaac Owusu Bempah has blamed widespread practice of occultism in schools and homes for the increased rate of suicide in Ghana. The Glorious Word Minister said this to counter the opinion of people who have blamed the menace on government.
According to him, “a lot of these young ones are practising occultism in their schools and they never anticipate when an evil spirit will possess them and lure them into committing suicide…” Rev. Bempah also opined that suicide could be traceable to abortion and suicide attempts by expectant mothers, with the evil spirit haunting the kids when they are eventually born.
Some rumours were also circulating that the numerous suicide cases is as a result of President Akufo-Addo’s blood sacrifices ahead of the 2016 elections. But Owusu Bempah exonerated Nana Addo, saying the issue has got nothing to do with the President. He also warned people to desist from giving political explanations to every problem, while neglecting the spiritual causes.