Suicide prevention: Equip schools with counselling services, says WFI

The board chairman of Weinglo Family International (WFI) suicide prevention is a shared responsibility and everyone needs to play a role by being one another’s keeper

Henry Andoh, the board chairman of Weinglo Family International (WFI), has called on Ghanaians to support the government to equip schools with counselling services to prevent suicide.

He said suicide prevention is a shared responsibility and everyone needs to play a role by being one another’s keeper, creating more awareness, investing in suicide prevention and supporting people suffering from conditions that make them vulnerable.

Andoh made the call at a press conference as part of Weinglo Family International’s fifth anniversary held in Accra on Sunday on the theme: “Five years of suicide prevention activism, the achievements, challenges and the future.”

The board chairman noted that most schools do not have counselling programmes for students who are stressed and depressed due to their bad grades and family circumstances. He urged school heads to make it a priority to ensure students reach out for guidance.

He said most schools that have counsellors do not have access to structures and paintings to aid in effective counselling.

Andoh said, “You can have a school population of 500,000 students with only one counsellor. How many students will he be able to attend to within 24 hours?

“We must build structures and employ counsellors to make counselling therapy more efficient for the youth.”

He stated that WFL conducted a survey in selected schools in the Greater Accra Region and it was found that people as young as 13 years had considered the thought of committing suicide.

He said, “This is very alarming for us all; it could be any of your friends or family involved in such thoughts. Suicidal thought does not happen just immediately; it makes the mind look for solutions and if it doesn’t find one then the thought sets in.”

Andoh said some girls lack the means to afford menstrual pads during their menstrual periods, which causes suicidal ideation.

He urged all teachers and heads of schools to adopt measures such as rules and regulations to ensure discipline and accountability in schools as a way of preventing bullying.

Gloria Boatemaa Andoh, the chief executive officer (CEO) of WFI, in her remarks, said the main solution for suicide is love and care.

She said, as humans have become more emotionally driven in this century, the show of love, care and acceptance goes a long way to solve suicidal tendencies.

The CEO stated that with regard to students, it is mostly exam failures and relationship issues that lead to suicide.

She said, “therefore, I encourage all students to be steadfast and focus on their academic achievements to be the ideal person they want.

“Suicide prevention can be curtailed if we talk people out when they share their problems.” She stated that WFL will continue to support suicide prevention.

Weinglo Family International aims to help reduce the prevalence of suicide by building the mental fortitude of individuals using data driven evidence-based practices and personal experiences.


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