Nigeria should consider establishing a dedicated center with the sole responsibility of curtailing the prevalence of suicides in the country, an official said on Sunday.

Bello Shagari, president of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, told journalists in the northwest state of Sokoto that the rate at which Nigerians, especially the youth, were committing suicide in the country was worrisome.

Nigeria has the 15th highest suicide rate in the world, according to the World Health Organization’s age-standardized statistics.

The council president, however, called on the state governments to find immediate remedies to stop the rise in suicides, noting that the act of committing suicide is not supported by the Nigerian culture or various religions and it is unknown to the African tradition.

“I, therefore, want to appeal to Nigerians, especially the youth, to desist from taking their own lives, regardless of the conditions they find themselves in,” he said.

“The poverty level in the country may be a major factor which leads to such an act,” Shagari said.

Suicide prevention “is not for government alone, but community leaders and members of the society,” he said.

“This is especially for religious leaders, school teachers and traditional rulers who must embark on a serious sensitization,” Shagari told reporters.

Many different factors lead people to feel suicidal. These include mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

These factors are often combined with negative stresses caused by issues such as economic hardship and marital difficulties. Enditem


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