Friday, 17 March 2017

Would Being More Empathic In Our Daily Interactions With Others Prevent Some Suicides?

The law criminalising attempted suicide should be scrapped from Ghana's statute books. It is barbaric and unbefitting of a society that aspires to be a bastion of liberal and progressive thought in Africa.

Many of those who attempt suicide invariably need help in dealing with their overwrought emotions.

It is unconscionable and unpardonable to drag people in that state of mind before the law courts - when it is psychotherapy that they require: not jail time in horrendous and overcrowded prisons.

It seems perverse that troubled people in Ghanaian society, driven by despair to attempt to end their own lives, are then criminalised by the system.

Yet, it is precisely at the point when having failed to kill themselves, those who attempt to commit suicide,  desperately need society's compassion and understanding - because they are at their most vulnerable moments.

A combination of factors lead to people attempting to kill themselves.

A common feature of most suicides, is the overwhelming feeling  of hopelessness borne out of the mistaken belief that death would be a release from a situation from which no escape or relief seems possible.

Perhaps as a people  we ought to regard  every suicide as a failure of Ghanaian society at large to reach out to a vulnerable person whose ability to cope  with a challenging life situation somehow became impaired and led to that person ending their own life.

It would also help, if all of us emotionally embraced those who approach us for help as best we can - and try and reach out to those who we can clearly see from afar are facing some kind of a personal  crisis.

Not everyone can successfuly cope with the pressures of modern life, unfortunately.

And no one is immune from depression either - so we are all vulnerable in a sense: ''There but for the grace of  God go I" is an apt motto for all us, perhaps.

Some previously powerful individuals from former President Mahama's National Demoratic Congress (NDC) regime, for example, are said to be depressed, today. So no one really  knows what the future portends, mental health-wise.

Finally, food for thought: If we are a great deal more  empathic in all our daily interactions with our fellow humans might we not be able to stop some of those who attempt to kill themselves from eventually doing so?


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