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Health News of Tuesday, 15 September 2015


1,500 suicide cases recorded in Ghana annually

Dr Akwasi Osei Dr Akwasi Osei

Ghana records about 1,500 suicide cases annually, the Chief Executive of the Mental Health Authority, Dr Akwasi Osei, has revealed.

That figure, he said, constituted about seven per cent loss of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but little attention was paid to suicide cases in the country.

According to him, in every single reported case of suicide, there were four unreported case of suicide, bringing the number of unreported cases to about 6,000 annually.

Leading cause of suicide

In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra Monday, Dr Osei said the leading cause of suicide was depression.

He, therefore, called for a repeal of Sec 57 Clause 2 of the 1960 Criminal Code of Ghana which criminalises suicide.

Other causes, he said, were previous suicide attempts, substance abuse, mental disorders, incarceration, exposure to suicidal behaviour, taking antidepressant medications and a history of being abused or witnessing continued abuse.

Men more likely to commit suicide

Dr Osei stated that men were more likely to attempt suicide than women.

In addition, he said, older men and women were more likely to attempt suicide than young men and women.

The chief psychiatrist named stigmatisation, traditional beliefs and the law as some of the hindrances to patients opting for early medical attention.

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