For youth experiencing a mental health crisis, a mental hospital might be the right place to find help. However, this is not the case, as they opt for alternative interventions due to the high costs.
According to a survey by the Brain and Mind Institute, an entity of the Aga Khan University, on self-harm to mark Self-Injury Awareness Day shows that 28 out of 33 people interviewed said no to medication use.
Sixty-one per cent of the respondents who said no to medication were between the ages of 21 to 30 years.
The roundtable session brought together persons with lived experiences, policymakers, researchers and service providers who specialize in supporting individuals affected by suicide loss and self-harm.
The research interviewed people with lived suicide experiences through a focus group discussion.
“The single most significant implication of this is that as mental health professionals and policymakers, we need to consider age-related differences in treatment preferences,” Prof Lukoye Atwoli, the Deputy Director Brain and Mind Institute and Dean of the Medical College, the Aga Khan University said.
“We should then tailor the interventions to persons with lived suicide experiences in developing more personalized treatment plans,” he added.
The findings also indicate that nearly one in every two people from the interviewed sought counselling, mainly people aged 21 to 30.
The report also indicates that 67 per cent of the respondents said they had had suicidal interventions.
More men had suicidal ideations than women, yet more women (52 per cent) indicated that they had lost someone to suicide death.
“These findings may indicate that females are more likely to report suicide cases due to the caregiving role attached to the women in our society,” Atwoli said.
He added: “From the research, we see that more men think about suicide but do not report it. This shows the patterns of suicide and harm in our society.”
Suicide is the fourth leading cause of mortality among 15-29-year-olds, according to the World Health Organisation.
Around 11 people per 100,000 per year die by suicide in Africa, higher than the global average of 9 per 100,000 people.
Self-Injury Awareness Day is observed annually on 1 March. The day is celebrated to create awareness among people about the harmful effects of self-harm.