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Trivializing problems of young people can make them suicidal -Psychologist

A psychologist who has done extensive research on suicide among young persons in Ghana,  Dr. Joseph Osarfo, has  warned society against trivializing issues that young people consider as problems.

“People tend to trivialize the reasons for which somebody wants to die. Every Ghanaian’s response to somebody who is going through crisis and may feel suicidal is that you are stupid, go and kill yourself, why, if you will die, die” he observed.

Speaking on 3FM’s Sunrise Morning show Monday at the back of the alleged suicide by an 18-year old student last Friday, explained that triviliasation of issues bothering people is pushes such persons to commit suicide.

READ: Daughter of MP hangs herself on KNUST campus

He said a recent study he did with his team among 2,000 students in secondary schools indicated that students who feel bullied are very likely to commit suicide, indicating that some of the students were branded as being lesbians and homosexuals “and teachers watched” on.

According to him, some of the students do not report such issues to their parents because they will tell them to get over it and describe their ordeal as nothing.

Dr Osarfo has meanwhile advised parents against some choices they make for their wards particular in relation to their social life.

He particularly wants parents to desist from the practice of giving their children exclusivity and privacy under the guise of giving them preferential treatment like getting them a special hostel among others.

“It’s important to let your child mingle, let them relate, let them have friends, let them be able to share and open up to others. When people are all by themselves with their thoughts, especially thoughts that are actually harming them and killing them, they are likely to go,” he said.

“And sometimes it may be impulsive, I mean, the person feels like, no, I have to go. It is too painful, this cycle is too painful I have to go. Research shows that often, a part of them wants to live and a part wants to die.

“There is a strong ambivalence. So if you can open up and ask the person. Maybe chatting her, maybe encouraging her daily, daily dosages of encouragement. I am with you, it’s well, I care for you. Let’s go and study. Let’s go and do this. All of this will be strengthening his psychology and her emotions gradually,” he added.

Meanwhile, the family  members of the late KNUST student say they are shocked by the alleged suicide of the lady who was the daughter of a Member of Parliament

Spokesperson for the family, Professor Opoku Amankwa told 3FM “It’s a big surprise and shock to us all. We don’t know exactly how it happened. Not that we know of any issues she had. Not that the mother or father knows of.

“I think a week earlier or thereabout, the mother had been here and had seen her and her big sister on campus. They speak almost every day. We’ve asked her sister and she is not giving any indication of that and again.

“…If there was anything we would have had a hint of it,  her sister would have known, Mum would have known,  dad would have known. So it is something that has come as a big shock and surprise to all of us” he said.

The police have interrogated two roommates of the deceased while the University has begun counseling for them.

By Mercy Adjabeng|3FM|3news.com

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