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Thinking about suicide and its victims. Wonder why we always feel that suicide is sudden and unexpected when in most cases the signs had been there for all to see. When people die by suicide we express shock and seek for reasons for such actions.


This happened too in the case of Mama Are, a 62 year old retired widow with 6 well educated and caring children. 10 years ago, she was rushed to the emergency. She had taken 2cups of a mix of weed killer and kerosine.
The children wondered why she carried out the act. The other relatives wondered as did her neighbours, emergency room staff and of course the spectators. We all wondered at this ominous act. Why would Mama Are go to such extreme? Why? Why?


Like regular Nigerian perplexed and confused “wonderers”, we had to ascertain the main cause of our wondering and so we probed for more info.
Mama had been complaining of not been happy and not enjoying life for about 8 months. This was surprising because things had been going on well with her and her family. “Nothing suspicious”. She would also tell her children that she felt like dying or been killed.

“Heeee! Haaaa! Moving Trailer should hit you ke?
You should sleep and not wake up???? Mummy you need deliverance! Plus serious fasting and prayers.”


Mama did all these and more but the bad thoughts did not stop. Her children blamed her for saying such terrible things but the thoughts didn’t stop. They forbade her from saying them out; even thinking them. They bought her nice things; renovated her house; spent more time with her and brought her to live with them so as to keep her company.
Alas! The thoughts did not abate.
She lived in her drowning darkness and blithering fears till she could not bear it no more.


On a beautiful Sunday morning, when everyone thought she had gone to church, Mama Are sneaked back home and drank the mix she had hidden in the house for two months.
She was found semiconscious after service ended 3hours later. Rushed to the emergency but died within 9hours of admission.
What a loss! What a tragedy!


A woman who had slaved all her adult life to train her children now gone when life was just becoming sweet. She was brought to the hospital only at the ZERO hour.
The pain, the shame, the grief and blames.


The VICTIM died leaving Victims. The victim who suffered endlessly for 8 months.
The victims particularly her 6 well educated, very loving but hopelessly ignorant children.
She died unexpectedly because the expected was not done.


Death is inevitable but death by Suicide is a preventable one.
Mental illness is real.
It’s near us and close enough.
Scrap the Ignorance!
Scrap the stigma!
Take THE RIGHT STEP today.
Safe a life!


By Folake Ogundele
Mental Health Specialist

September 10, is World Suicide Prevention day.

The Credit of this article without reservation goes to Folake Ogundele, a Mental Health Specialist.



Good therapy

Hire the youth