Friday, 11 October 2019

2019 World Mental Health Day: Fed Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital trains journalists on effective suicide reporting

11 October 2019 

As part of activities line up to mark this year's World Mental Health Day, the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Calabar, has organized a one-day training for media professionals on effective reporting of suicide cases to help mitigate the occurrences NEGROIDHAVEN has garnered.

The training which is in line with the theme of the 2019 World Mental Health Day, that is, "Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention", took place at the conference hall of the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Calabar on Thursday.

The resource person, Dr. Emmanuel Essien, a consultant psychiatrist and acting head of training and research at the Psychiatric Hospital, Calabar, said that every 40 seconds someone dies from suicide.

Quoting the World Health Organization, Dr. Essien said that suicide is the act of killing oneself deliberately. He said despite how prevalent suicide may be, it is preventable. He highlighted some of the causes to include stress, mental disorder such as depression, substance abuse and personality issue.

On what the media can do to help reduce the incidence of suicide in Nigeria, Dr. Essien said accurate reportage should be embraced by journalists, adding that information on where victims can access help should also be included in the report.

He also said that caution should be observed  while reporting suicide incidents that involve celebrities so as not to encourage people to imitate them. The consultant further added that reporters should avoid giving graphic details of how a suicide incident happened, and that by so doing, they will not pass knowledge on how to commit suicide to those who may be contemplating such act.

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