Health ministry developing a national suicide prevention strategy

22 Oct 2018 17:20pm
WINDHOEK, 22 OCT (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Health and Social Services is developing a national suicide prevention strategy.
A three-day workshop commenced in Windhoek on Monday where various stakeholders including the ministries of education, justice, labour and gender equality and child welfare; Bel Esprit Mental Health Clinic and LifeLine/ChildLine Namibia are discussing the strategy.
Acting director in the health ministry’s Directorate of Social Welfare Services, Rene Adams said during the opening that the workshop’s aim is to discuss factors that contribute to suicide and set up suicide prevention strategies.
She said the high suicide rate in Namibia, as well as lack of evidence-based information on suicide, prompted the ministry to conduct a national study on its prevalence and interventions in relation to suicide.
“The results of this study will be used to develop a five-year national strategic plan on suicidology in Namibia (2018/19 to 2022/23) as well as the development of a policy framework to guide suicide prevention, treatment and management,” Adams said.
She further noted that contributing factors to suicide appear to be a complex mix of adverse life events such as social and geographical isolation, cultural and family background, socio-economic disadvantages and genetic make-up, mental and physical health, coping skills and resilience.
The strategy is being developed with the assistance of a World Health Organisation-contracted consultant.