•Sixty one per cent of the respondents who said no to medication were between the ages of 21 to 30 years
•More men had suicidal ideations than women yet more women (52 per cent) indicated that they had lost someone to a suicide death
Youth shy away from medical treatment when having mental health issues and instead opt for alternative forms of interventions due to the high costs.
A survey by 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 the use of medication.
61 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 providers of service 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 said.
“We should then tailor the interventions to persons with lived suicide experiences in developing more personalized treatment plans,” he added.
Atwoli is the Deputy Director Brain and Mind Institute and Dean of the Medical College, the Aga Khan University.
The findings also indicate that nearly one in every two people from the persons interviewed sought counselling and these were majorly people aged 21 to 30-years.
The report also indicates that 67 per cent of the respondents indicated that they have had suicidal interventions.
Of this, more men had suicidal ideations than women yet more women (52 per cent) indicated that they had lost someone to a 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.