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Family related issues blamed for increasing suicide in Bomet

Stella Seuri, a psychologist working with I Choose Life, a non-governmental organization received a call from Bomet Central Deputy County commissioner’s office requesting for her services.

A fifteen-year-old minor is threatening to take her life, armed with a pesticide, she lands at the Deputy county commissioner’s office (DCC) office to make her last conversation with the administrator.

Luckily, the young girl lands at the safe hands of the DCC Mr Victor Kisachi who urgently directs the County Gender Officer and Ms Seuri to talk to the young girl and save her life.

Seuri says the process of counselling a person who has decided to take their own life needs the patience of moving a hill.

Suicide is deliberate death, in which one makes a conscious decision and personal intention to inflict death on themselves as a result of many issues that emanates from themselves.

Meanwhile, suicide cases in Bomet County have been increasing according to police reports, mainly related to family tussles, land issues and financial hardship among others.

The county used to register between six and 10 such cases a year, but the numbers have increased three-fold in the past eight months, raising concerns among stakeholders.

Drowning and hanging are the major causes of death by suicide, while others consume poison. In some cases, some of those people have survived after being rushed to the hospital in critical condition, but the majority end in death.

Kisachi said it is so unfortunate that the majority of the victims of suicide are men, adding that in the last two months, over ten cases have been reported by local chiefs and other local administrators.

“We have been receiving reports of people who have taken their own lives, and most reports indicate that it’s men who are mostly the victims,” stated Kisachi, adding that the number has surged over a short period raising concerns among different stakeholders in our region.

However, the deputy county commissioner said that they are working in a mechanism in which locals will be sensitized to opt for mechanisms to solve problems leading to suicide.

“We have put in place measures and other agencies will soon come on board to deal with this problem, we need to talk to our men who are the most affected group that taking life sinks their families into further problems,” said Kisachi.

Bomet township chief, Reuben Ngetich told Kenya News Agency that problems that have been leading people to take their own lives can ultimately be solved and that it is sad losing young people at their prime age.

“Issues related to land succession, poverty and other family issues have been the leading cause of untimely death as a result of suicide in this area, we want to urge our people to seek assistance from relevant government offices and other stakeholders,” said Ngetich.

Sam Onsarigo, a special program officer working with I choose Life indicates that the organization has come up with mental health groups, centred on a three month transforming behavioural change.

Individuals in the groups are trained on how to deal with mental problems like depression, especially among the youths, the trained individuals are also asked to cascade down what they have learnt to at least ten other individuals.

“We have been engaging expertise from health facilities like Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, they come up with a curriculum on depression, which has been one of the reason why people take away their lives, through these our target individuals are trained,” said Onsarigo.

By Lamech Willy

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