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Summit Care Trust Spearheading Suicide Prevention Campaign

31 August 2021

This article was sponsored by Stanbic Bank

Community-Based organisation (CBO), Summit Care Trust will be spearheading a Suicide Prevention Campaign starting tomorrow as a way of commemorating Suicide Prevention month which falls in the month of September.

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The campaign comes as Zimbabwe’s suicide rate for 2019 was 14.10, a 0.71% increase from 2018. In the years 2020 and 2021 there is anecdotal evidence highlight an increase in suicide cases.

Summit Care Trust Mental Health Advocate, Tanatswa Chikaura said the campaign is crucial as it seeks to open up awareness about suicide and how to find ways of preventing the cases from rising.

“While Suicide Prevention should be an everyday topic, the month of September gives us an opportunity to dedicate time and have honest conversations about Mental Health."

"Suicide is often deemed a taboo topic, therefore we would like to raise awareness on the stigmatization surrounding it, as well as to spread important information that can help people affected with suicidal thoughts and those that have lost their loved ones to the scourge,” said Chikaura.

She said the aim of the month-long Suicide Prevention Campaign is to ensure that Zimbabwean citizens have the important tool kit that will help them prevent suicide and seek help.

Throughout the month of September, Summit Care Trust will highlight the “YOU MATTER” theme by focusing on four areas: Community Awareness, Health Awareness, Family Awareness and Education Awareness.

The Trust will broadcast conversations with various stakeholders on the risk factors of suicide, navigating mental health crisis, suicide prevention, bullying in educational institutions and the role of sports, arts and culture in young people’s mental health.

“We will also facilitate Focus Group Discussions in Harare South, as well as zoom workshops on Suicide Awareness and Prevention. In addition, we will have graphic information that people can share on their social media platforms with the #YOUMATTER. Your mental health condition is important,” she said.

Chikaura said at the core of the awareness campaign was the message that there is no shame in seeking help. There is a need to conscientise people facing challenges that they can share their situations with friends, family members or professionals for support.

People are experiencing mental health conditions due to various factors. In Zimbabwe, suicide has been on the rise among young people.

Suicidal thoughts, just like mental health conditions, can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender or race. Usually, suicidal thoughts stem from various mental health conditions. Suicide affects not only the victim but the victim’s family and friends. The thought of losing a loved one, coupled with the stigmatization has a strong psychological effect.

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