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General News

[ 2017-03-18 ]

MPs argue that individuals who commit suicide must be given medical help than arresting them

Decriminalize attempted suicide - MPs plead
Members of Parliament (MPs) have called for the
decriminalization of the offence of attempted
suicide because it does not help to punish
somebody who decides to end his own life.

The MPs argue that individuals who attempt to
commit suicide should rather be helped medically
and also assisted with counseling instead of
putting them before court and sending them to

The MPs made the call when they contributed to a
statement made in parliament on Thursday by the
New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member for Oforikrom, Dr
Emmanuel Marfo, on the recent surge in suicide
cases among the youth, especially students, on
school campuses.

The MPs, including National Democratic Congress
(NDC) Member for Adaklu, Kwame Governs Agbodza; MP
for Daffiama/Bussie/Issa, Dr Sebestian Sandaare;
MP for Ablekuma West, Ursula Owusu Ekuful; MP for
Bunkpurugu, Solomon Boar and MP for Effutu, Alex
Afenyo-Markin, also appealed to the government to
see it as a matter of urgency to properly equip
and increase the funding for the running of the
various psychiatric hospitals.

They contended that psychiatric services must
easily be accessible to most Ghanaians, especially
students in second cycle and third cycle
institutions, to forestall the incidence of one
resorting to suicide as a result of depression
arising from problems he or she is going through.

Dr Sandaare, who is a medical doctor, said a World
Health Organisation (WHO) research had shown that
over 90% of suicide cases are a result of victims
going through some mental challenges and that it
is mentally factual that every human being can be
in a normal mental stage or abnormal mental stage
depending on the situation he or she finds himself
or herself.

He said the economic cost of suicide is much
greater than spending resources to prevent such

The MP for Ablekuma West and Minister of
Communications, Ms Ursula Owusu Ekuful, said it is
time more emphasis was put on counseling in the
second and third cycle institutions to help

She said services of clinical psychologists and
therapists must be sought for students in the
secondary and tertiary institutions, stressing
that “people must not only attach importance to
their physical health but also their mental

Mr Alex Afenyo-Markin said most of the suicide
cases on campuses could be attributed to academic
work and strained relationship between students
and lecturers since most lecturers have turned
themselves into ‘thin gods.’

He said that when most students perform badly in
their exams vis a vis the high expectations of
their parents, they resort to ending their lives.

According to the Effutu MP, lecturers have made
things worse because when students fail their
exams, they (students) dare not ask why they have
failed, especially when the student in question
believes he has done his best in the exams.

He said lecturers must also take interest in
whatever students do in and out of the classrooms
because they are under their care on the

Dr Emmanuel Marfo suggested that all students who
gain admission into tertiary institutions must be
taken through compulsory health screening before
being admitted.

Source -

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