A senior lecturer at the Department of Psychology at the University of Ghana, Dr. Joseph Osafo has attributed the rare case of suicide among children to several factors including loneliness, impulsiveness, irritation and general frustration.
He also mentioned of unresolved interpersonal challenges.
Dr. Osafo who was reacting to the suicide of an 11-year old girl in Kasoa in the central region on Thursday, spoke to host of the Sunrise Morning Show, Winston Amoah on 3FM 92.7.
The 11 year old girl committed suicide by hanging herself at Kasoa Old Timers in the Awutu Senya East municipality of Central region.
According to eyewitness Adams, who took the deceased to the Kasoa Polyclinic, the class six pupil hanged herself with a mobile phone charger after fighting with her older brother over a pair of socks.
Dr. Joseph Osafo stated: “Generally suicide among children is rare though it occurs. While we don’t have reliable mechanisms or data to check what the records, trends and processes are, other jurisdictions like the US show that children as low as 5 and10years do commit suicide. Ages between 12 and 24 also commit suicide
“Some observations have been made about the causes. Generally a child may be irritated and would want to crave attention for themselves, as confirmed by this incident.When children are irritated, they get into moods where they want to create some attention for themselves. Usually getting themselves injured allows them crave the attention they desires, but unfortunately the injury in this case was fatal.
“Children easily get irritated because they may have unresolved challenges but when that happens parents and adults must keep an eye on them (to avoid anything untoward)because mostly impulsivity plays a major role in the action and reaction of children.”
Asked how an 11 year old could know that suicide could be committed with the USB cable, Dr. Joseph Osarfo blamed the media for such information explosion and unethical publications on suicidal stories.
“Several reasons are responsible. We have our children overly exposed to uncensored display of movies and media items including Soap operas in which the children see actors and characters doing many things.
“Therefore an eleven year old who can read and has access to technology can have information to how to kill yourself.
“This can be dealt with when parents pay special attention to the developmental mile-stones in their children. When children get very irritated, we need to keep an eye on them. So the parents should have followed up on her.
“Other times we need to pay attention to their moods to find any withdrawal symptoms or high level of aggression. Sometimes we need to find out from children if they have any intentions of harming or killing themselves or others.
He concluded by observing that when children are abused either physically or sexually, they may resort to suicide because they feel hemmed in.
When 3FM interacted with some Junior High School children what could push a girl child to commit suicide, they suggested it could be as a result of suffering from abuse, loneliness without anyone to love her and may not also be able to talk about it because of fear.
By Mercy C. Adjabeng | 3FM |3news.com