The Mental Health Authority in Ghana has disclosed that divorce, relationship breakups, graduate unemployment and financial distress are the leading causes of suicide in Ghana.
According to the Authority, people between the ages of 16 and 35 years have been the most affected in recent times.
The number of people attempting suicide in Ghana increased from 777 cases recorded in 2020 to 902 cases in 2021.
Likewise, the actual suicide incidences recorded for the same period jumped from 69 cases in 2020 to 86 cases in 2021.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Mental Health Authority, Prof. Akwasi Osei, stated that this worrying situation requires immediate attention to help stop the surge.
“We need to get a policy that will determine a systematic approach of handling issues,” he said.
As a step forward, the authority is developing helplines for people in need of mental health support.
But Prof. Osei noted that one of the challenges is that the line is not toll-free.
“So we need a policy that will ensure that we have the health line and the toll-free line is paid for and everybody can call in freely and people have a basic understanding,” Prof Osei said.
He was speaking at the launch of the WHO Director General’s Special Initiative for Mental Health in Accra on Wednesday.