Clinical Psychologist, Dora Awuah has advised the youth to desist from social isolation of any form to avoid negatively impacting their mental health.
She was speaking on Campus Exclusive over the recent incline of mental health cases in Ghana, for which she referenced social isolation as one of the biggest factors in the occurrence.
While Mrs. Awuah stated that this figure mostly represents the youth, she also noted that more women attempt suicide with very few being successful. She also revealed that men who attempt suicide usually succeed in comparison to women as well.
She attributed the high rate of suicide attempt in women to hormonal changes and loneliness they face which some times causes them to prefer isolation . This according to her is quite dangerous for a person when it becomes extreme.
“Cutting yourself from other people, either physically or emotionally can have a negative impact on mental and physical health. Social isolation in its extreme triggers suicidal ideations,” she added.
To address this issue, she advised students to avoid social isolation as much as possible, encouraging people to find solace by speaking over their issues.
The Mental Health Authority has been working hard to ensure that every health unit in public health facilities has mental health professionals assigned to them.
However, Mrs. Awuah noted that there are still low numbers of people reporting for counselling or treatment. She encouraged everyone to make use of these facilities and resource persons in order to get help for their mental health issues.
“It is essential that we take steps to reduce suicide cases. We must encourage people to reach out for help if they are feeling isolated or struggling with their mental health so that they can get the support they need before it’s too late.”
Social isolation and the feeling of loneliness are the least considered yet highly instrumental factors contributing to the rise in suicide cases in the country.
Ghana Health Service (GHS) has reported that between January and July 2023, a total of 40,716 new cases of mental health issues were documented with a recorded total of 594 suicide cases as at July 2023.
Story by: Michelle Lartey | univers.ug.edu.gh