A family in Mulot area in Narok West Sub-county is in shock after their 15-year-old son committed suicide at their home.
The deceased; Edmond Kiprotich who is said to have been a Standard Five pupil at Laluk primary school in Narok West, was last evening found hanging on a tree in their home compound by his parents.
Confirming the incident, Narok County Police Commander Mr. John Kizito Mutoro said what might have pushed the young man to commit suicide was not known as he did not leave any suicide note but the matter was under investigations.
The family and the community were this morning trying to come to terms with the sudden death of their loved one whose young promising life has been plucked away from their midst.
The body of the deceased has been moved to Longisa Hospital mortuary in the neighbouring Bomet county pending postmortem and further investigation into the incident as the family prepares for the burial.
Suicide is connected to the state of the mental health of a person who commits or attempts to commit it. Suicides rates among teenagers and young people has been rising in the recent past. According to experts, exerting pressure of any kind to the young minds of teenagers could drive them to commit suicide.
According to documented cases, nearly 20 university students across the country in their early 20s committed suicide in the country between 2014 and 2018. Sadly, the trend seems to have hit a new high especially with hard economic times and advent of Coronavirus pandemic.
Last weekend, a 24-year-old Moi University student committed suicide in Enabelbel area in Narok North sub-county.
In November last year, a 25-year-old University of Nairobi student who was about to graduate committed suicide inside their family business in Mulot area in Narok West sub-county.
Data from the Ministry of Health shows that at least 370 people have committed suicide in Kenya in the last six months pointing to the gravity of the mental health situation in the country since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
The report shows that out of 370 people who committed suicide during the pandemic, 93 cases were from Central Kenya with 87 of them being men and six women. Nairobi accounts for more than 60 cases and Mombasa 50.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 800,000 people die from suicide each year (that is one person every 40 seconds), majority of them aged 15-29, in which age-group suicide is the second leading cause of death.
In Kenya, WHO data estimates that 1,408 people commit suicide yearly, or simply put, four deaths daily, a number that is higher than what the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics for 2018 which was 421 deaths.
In 2017, a WHO report ranked Kenya as the sixth African country and 117th globally with the highest levels of depression with at least 1.9 million diagnosed Kenyans suffering from depression.
By Mabel Keya-Shikuku