By Yusta Seghete, published on 10 Sep 2020


This is such a heavy word for me. But today, I thought about it. I thought about what might make someone get to this point. I thought about those that will be left behind. I thought about the rate at which people commit suicide. Sigh.

I was born in September. I don’t know about you, but I like knowing things around my birthday month. This month has a number of world humanitarian days like World International Day of Charity, World Sexual Day, World Suicide Prevention Day… among others.

Of all these World Suicide Prevention Day stuck with me. Observed on September 10th, every year, World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) gives an opportunity for people, across the globe, to raise awareness on suicide and its prevention.

The International Association for Suicide Prevention states that, every year, suicide is responsible for over 800,000 deaths, which equates to one suicide every 40 seconds.

I stopped at this, stared at my wall clock and wondered, ‘one suicide case every 40 seconds’? 

The theme for this year is ‘Working Together to Prevent Suicide’… You can raise awareness about the issue, educate yourself and others about the causes of suicide.


The reasons behind this global phenomenon has been compared in different cultures and periods over the years. One of the literatures I came across, is the argument that suicide increased with industrialisation and urbanisation. Reason being, individuals experienced a sense of alienation and social isolation. And since then, cases and concerns over suicide have been alarming.

In most African societies, suicide is subject to taboo. It is an act that provokes fear and shame and to some extent, it is a subject of religious sanction. With this case in point, suicide cases are often underreported and statistics unreliable.

Some scholars who have been digging into this issue, ask a more far-reaching question: ‘Given the very different forms that suicide can take, is it a meaningful category of analysis at all?’

I still think and feel that it is meaningful to continue analysing and finding solutions to this case.  Let’s work together to prevent suicide!

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