Be a brothers keeper, says Psychologist

By: Duncan Kaonga

A Psychology expert says the elevation in suicide cases by men is influenced by failing to share information with friends and handling critical issues on their own.

Recently there has been an increase in suicide cases in Malawi and most of the victims being men.

In an interview with Akometsi, Chief Executive Officer for St John of God, Dr Charles Masulani Mwale said this happens most because men do not occasionally share their problems with others which result them into making hasty decisions on their lives.

He further said Men unlike women, are very unlikely to seek help when they face a problem, they feel they might be seen as weak if they ask for guidance when facing a crisis.

“When men face a psychosocial problem, they try to solve such kind of problems on their own and when they reach a point where the problem cannot be solved despite their efforts most of them take their own lives,” Said Dr Mwale.

Dr Mwale has since called on government to consider the law that criminizes attempted siucide which he feels plays a major role in elevating the cases in the country.

Section 229 of the Penal Code criminizes attempted suicide and it says Any person who attempts to kill himself shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

“This law prevents people who have suicide attempts from seeking help because if they do so they will feel like people might report them to police and they will end up in jail, I think government needs to revisit this bill sorrounding the suicide attempt so that people can actually seek help from others without fear,” Dr Mwale said.

The Psychologist has called on citizens to stop the myths associated with suicide that promotes discrimination like the one which associates suicide with witchcraft.

“People say those who commit suicide have been biwitched, now if someone has a suicidal thought he or she might not share it with friends because he will feel like he is embarrasing his family,” added Dr. Mwale.

Mwale has urged organizations to continue civic educating people on the importance of seeking help when a suicidal thought crosses their minds and everyone should be a brothers keeper so that the cases can decrease in the country.

A recent study shows that most men commit suicide because of burden of responsibility in their families and they usually use most aggressive way to end their lives than women.

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