Thursday 30 November 2023

Isolation can drive young people battling depression
or stress to contemplate suicide

Attempted suicides on the rise in Bahrain

MANAMA, September 21, 2014

Attempted suicides among young people in Bahrain are on the increase, according to a leading expert.

The drastic measure, known in the medical community as 'parasuicide', is often seen as a 'cry for help', Psychiatric Hospital head Dr Adel Al Offi was quoted as saying by the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

He said 14 to 20-year-olds were committing the drastic act because they were battling depression or were overwhelmed by stress, not because they actually wanted to die.

'Suicide in Bahrain hasn't increased but parasuicide has,' Dr Al Offi told the GDN.

'Some people use it as a way to solve their crisis. It's not because they want to die, it is more a cry for help. We should discuss the issues they face, be understanding and supportive.

'We have to ensure society understands these adolescents and make sure they can talk to someone, call for help, talk to teachers, parents and friends. We don't want parasuicide to become a pattern in their lives whenever they have a crisis. Most people regret it afterwards and apologise,’ he added.

Dr Al Offi said it was essential for families of adolescents battling depression or stress to create a supportive environment for them to discuss their problems.

'The exit for their stress has to be good, supportive people,' he explained.

'They have to have honesty and understanding at that age. 'Lack of experience and support, as well as high expectations, contribute to parasuicide. Depression sufferers, those with a terminal illness, alcoholics and drug addicts are more prone to suicide as a general rule '“ and more men than women commit suicide, even in Bahrain.'

Every fortnight the hospital runs lectures for students, brought in by the Education Ministry, on how to cope with stress and mental illness.

'In the future, if suicide escalates in Bahrain, we will need a helpline,' said Dr Al Offi.

'However, the system will have to see the health and interior ministries working together. I beg people to go to the Accident and Emergency department in Salmaniya Medical Complex if they are having suicidal thoughts.

'We have mental health professionals who are there round the clock. Please go and we will help you manage it.'

Despite the worrying increase, Dr Al Offi emphasised that rates of suicide and parasuicide in Bahrain were still lower than most western countries.

The World Health Organisation's Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020 calls for countries to work to reduce their suicide rates by 10 per cent, he said.

'In order to reduce the rates, governments need to develop a national strategy and provide a clear commitment to preventing suicide,' he said.

'Ensuring co-operation between the public and private spheres is essential. Follow-up care with those who have attempted suicide is also crucial, since there is a large risk that they will attempt it again. Governments should ensure sufficient funding to improve these services,’ he added. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Bahrain | Suicide |

More Health & Environment Stories

calendarCalendar of Events