BEING A COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE MEETING OF YOUNG LEADERS RIGHTS AND PATRIOTIC INITIATIVE OF NIGERIA AT THE END OF HER MEETING FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH, 2019.
Considering the prevalent rate of depression/suicide in Nigeria, especially among the youths and with Nigeria being ranked the 5th country with the highest level of suicide, YOLPIN deemed it imperative to touch light this national concern and proffer solutions to depression/suicide in Nigeria, especially among the youths.
The high rate of suicide among Nigerian youths, from the reported cases in recent times, is an indication to what extent depression, a catalyst to suicide, has affected Nigerian youths. Though many believe depression/suicide is spiritual, others see it as a psychotherapy condition. Haven seen how depression has affected the total wellbeing of Nigerians and how it affects their productivity and impacts on the nation negatively, it was timely that YOLPIN brought young professionals together in proffering solutions to this menace.
FACTORS OF DEPRESSION/SUICIDE
Highlighted here also include some of the possible causes of depression amongst which were; domestic violence, alcoholism, seclusion and ignorance. Often times people tend to practicalize what they see and hear. He said “There is so much to this act of suicide that the victims never get to know, until it becomes too late for them”.
Medically speaking, there are hormone imbalances which pressure victims into this act and counseling, attention and interaction is the antidote for suspecting victims of depression and suicide.
HOW UNEMPLYMENT FERTILIZES DPRESSION/SUICIDE AMONG THE YOUTHS
Unemployment and underemployment largely contribute the high rate of depression among the Nigerian youths. Many graduated from schools and still remain the responsibility of their parents and family members to cater for their upkeep. This has impacted negatively on their personality and self-worth, as it has become a practice in most Nigeria families that respects and regards goes hand in hand with the weight of your pocket.
SOCIAL FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO DEPRESSION/SUICIDE
The act of suicide is abominable to both Christianity, Islam and even traditional religion and must not be encouraged for any reason.
Stressing on the high expectations of people as one of the major causes of depression. He said 70% of Nigerian youths are on the speed lane to get fast money, fast cars, fast marriage, etc, and wrap it with the popular saying “Get rich or die trying”. Contentment he said should be our watch word as youths even as we crave for a better tomorrow.
Population explosion is also one of the factors getting people depressed. In most advanced countries where child birth is put under control, they meet up with at least 65% of their citizens’ needs. When a country cannot adequately utilize its population for human capital development, such a population explosion becomes a curse rather than a blessing.
He further said is high time Nigeria learn from China and other Asian countries doing well in population management by creating enabling environment for job creation and also avoid mismanagement of resources.
PRESSURE FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS AS A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR TO DEPRESSION/SUICIDE
Youths are creative and always have aspirations that appeals to them, but pressure from family and friends often time impacts negatively on their choices and decisions. Youths wants to see that they are responsible for their actions and inactions, but family in most cases have a clock hanging on the wall for their young ones and telling them what direction the clock is ticking and what needs to be done at every point in time. They tell you at what age you must pass your WAEC/NECO, get admission, the grade to graduate with, where to work and when and whom to marry. Any deviation from their timetable is seen as a failure and therefore put many youths under multiple unnecessary pressure that would eventually lead to depression with suicide tendencies. Pressure from friends/peers leads to wrong choices and decision and in most cases, these friends lack the ability to provide necessary supports when things go wrong and then leave the victim in helpless situation that could lead to depression with suicide as an option.
THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA
Technological advancement has created more gaps in most homes and families, making people on the other side of the world closer than those under same roof with us. This gap weakens our emotional capacity and ability to genuinely relate with those we could be of help to or that we could confined in, as the case may be.
Social media has been more of a curse than a blessing to many young people, as a result of abuse and wrong application that exposes them to unproductive ventures that brings no good. On the average, youths spend seven hours daily online/social media. This long period of online activities often time affects their mood either positively or negatively, depending on what they do or who they spend the time with online and the feedback they get as a result.
Recommendations and Conclusion
Participants from across different fields made the following recommendations as panacea to depression/suicide among Nigerian youths.
1. Government should establish a Relieve Centre to cater for the physical, social and psychotherapy needs of the depressed and to see that they are given necessary support and reintegrated back into the society, especially those who may not have immediate family to cater for them.
2. Government should regulate the use of smart phones and social media among the under aged and teenage population.
3. Government should make deliberate efforts to provide jobs for the teaming population of Nigerian youths and support youth entrepreneurship. Government should also see to it that every life lost is a lost to the nation and not just to the family.
4. Youths should avoid drug abuse, taking unnecessary risks and be deliberate in self-development.
5. Awareness campaign and programmes as this, to educate and sensitize youths on the dangers of depression/suicide and how they could lead a fulfilling life.
6. Deep connection and effective listening would go along way to help those that are depressed or suspected to be depressed.
7. Depression should not be seen as a sign of weakness and people should learn to sacrifice their time for others wellbeing.
8. Avoid domestic violence and see the happiness of your neighbour as your responsibility.
9. Family and friends should avoid putting youths under unnecessary pressure and unfair comparison and criticism.
10. Youths should be contented with their present level of achievements while striving to do more and should always have it in mind that a living Dog is better than a dead Lion.
11. Youths should make deliberate efforts to explore numerous opportunities that abounds online and improve on themselves via productive activities. Youths should ensure each data bundle should bring minimum 3 times returns over actual data cost.
12. Youths should be self-disciplined and place more value on themselves.
In conclusion, depressed people are not from the Mars, they are people that live around and among us, whom we careless about how they feel but quick to judge of their actions, mistakes and errors. Those who have attempted suicide should not be discriminated against but rather integrated into their families and society and be shown love and sympathy.
Patriot ANDREW Amos Ugbede-Ojo, is the President, Young Leaders Rights and Patriotic Initiative of Nigeria (YOLPIN) www.yolpin.org