DEMYSTIFYING SUICIDE-MY PRESENTATION AT A WEBINAR HOSTED BY ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION OF KENYATTA UNIVERSITY

According to the World Health Organization, more than 700 000 people die by suicide every year translating to one person every 40 seconds. More sobering is the fact that suicide occurs throughout life and is the fourth leading cause of death among the youth aged 15-29 years old globally.

In looking at the WHO’s 5 by 5 model which has incorporated mental illness as one of the Non-Communicable Diseases, Suicidal feeling/ideation is classified under mental illness. This points to the sense that the classification of NCDs has been broadened to accommodate conditions/illnesses that had been left out.

Recently, especially during the COVID-19 era, suicide cases have increased exponentially. This increase in suicide cases is linked to the disruption caused by COVID-19 in relation to job losses, containment measures among others. In Kenya alone, near 500 suicide cases were reported in the month of June 2021, a record number to be reported in a single month.

In keeping with this increased number of suicide cases, Environmental Health Students Association of Kenyatta University (EHSAKU) hosted a webinar to demystify suicide while creating the much-needed awareness on the same. I am profoundly delighted to have been invited to give a Keynote Presentation on Suicide as a Non-Communicable Diseases.

During my presentation, I shared about the global and local glaring statistics on suicide. I was also particular about the causes and the risk factors associated with suicide. I also talked about one of the most important elements in suicide- Suicidal behavior. The methods of suicide and suicide prevention mechanism also dominated my presentation. In finishing my presentation, I urged the participants to be on the watch out for suicidal behaviors as they are sometimes silent and cannot be noticed.

REMEMBER: “IN THE END, ONE NEEDS THE COURAGE TO LIVE THAN TO KILL HIMSELF. BE STRONG!”

Published by Oduor Kevin

ODUOR KEVIN is a Public Health Specialist with considerable experience in the health care industry. He has worked in various organizations, leading projects and programs aimed at improving the health outcomes of people living with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and the general population. Oduor Kevin is currently the Chief Programs Officer at Stowelink Inc, a youth-led organization with a single most focus on addressing the burden of NCDs. Oduor’s experience in project management is attributed to his work at Population Services Kenya (PSK) where he served as a member of the National Coordinating Committee for Kitu Ni Kukachora project. Further, in 2019, Oduor Kevin was appointed as Kenyatta University Campus Director by Millenium Campus Network (MCN) to supervise and lead Millennium Fellows in their Social Impact projects. During this assignment, he successfully supervised the fellows and delivered them for graduation under the banner of Millennium Fellowship.

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