Reports from the World Suicide Prevention Day Conference Nigeria 2018
The World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPA) was initiated in 2003 by International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and supported by World Health Organisation (WHO). It is held every 10th of September.
Save Society Today Foundation (Double ST Foundation) was delighted to host the very first world suicide prevention day activity (conference) in Nigeria. We partnered with the Network for Psychosocial Support- Africa (NPSA) to provide onsite counselling for participants that were going through depression or needed personal issues addressed. We didn’t just want to discuss the problem; we wanted to offer solutions.
We began our campaign with a photo challenge aimed at creating awareness about suicide, world suicide prevention day and to tell people that there is hope. This was summed up in our slogan, Suicide is preventable and Help is available. The reception was amazing- people sent in their pictures and posted our designs on their social media platforms which sparked the conversation leading up to the conference which was held on September 8th of 2018. One of the ladies, who later volunteered to make the conference a success said prior to the time she saw the photo campaign, didn’t know there was a world suicide prevention day which led to her asking how she could help. So indeed, the reception to the conversation was amazing.
We decided to use a conference to discuss how working together we can all prevent suicide. The aim of the conference was to create awareness and promote understanding about suicide, define strategies and initiatives for suicide prevention and enhance community participation in suicide prevention activities.
The program started with the participants watching a video for the WSPD by the president, IASP, Murad Khan and included an opening address by the founder of Double ST Foundation, Oluwatosin Olabode detailing the essence of why the conversation on suicide was very important in a time were suicide is on the increase in Nigeria. Adaeze Otikpa, from the NPSA gave an introduction into what thier organisation does and how, once you begin to talk about your challenges; you can begin to find and get help.
We had two interactive sessions talking about stigmatization and segregation, and the role media and social media plays in fighting depression and other mental health challenges and the second on abuse, the feeling of worthlessness and how to come out of it. The keynote address tackled the theme for WSPD 2018-2020- Working Together To Prevent Suicide.