• Dr Aruasa said most incidents recorded at the hospital are of victims who consume poisons and attempt to hang themselves using ropes.
• He said there had also been increased cases of suicide using guns among security officers.
The Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret handles at least five cases of attempted suicide very day, CEO Dr Wilson Aruasa has said.
He said suicide is becoming a major problem in the country, with the most affected being youth aged between 18 and 34 years.
Dr Aruasa said most incidents recorded at the hospital are of victims who consume poisons and attempt to hang themselves using ropes.
He said most cases also had preexisting mental health problems, which were not detected and treated.
"Mental health problems and suicide are here with us. I want to tell the public that we have enough institutions and personnel that can help instead of one opting for suicide,” Dr Aruasa said.
He was speaking in Eldoret during the celebrations to mark World Suicide Prevention Day.
He was with Mathare National Hospital CEO Dr Julius Ogato and Uasin Gishu Woman Representative Gladys Boss Shollei, who was the chief guest.
“We do not need to lose another life to suicide yet it’s something that can be handled,” Aruasa said.
He said there had also been increased cases of suicide using guns among security officers. The medic said they were pleased that the messages on prevention of suicide were sinking among members the public.
Dr Ogata said suicide and mental illness were a reality in the country but also preventable.
He said the government was currently investing a lot in mental health and other challenges and urged Kenyans to enrol with the NHIF to easily access treatment.
Shollei said she was among those supporting decriminalisation of suicide because in most cases it was as a result of other challenges including mental illness that can be handled.
She said the process to decriminalise suicide is currently in Parliament.
Shollei said there had been increased death as a result of suicide and most of the cases, especially among the youth were as a result of abuse of drugs and alcohol.
She said security teams must up their games in dealing with increased abuse of drugs and alcohol which were now major challenges in causing mental health problems and other health problems.
Shollei said there was also need to have security agencies carry out mental tests during recruitment exercises so that those allowed to join the forces and use guns do not have mental challenges.