We need community counseling to curb suicides – Omusati Governor

BY Marx Itamalo

OMUSATI Governor, Erginus Endjala said one of the possible solutions to containing the soaring number of suicides in the country is for the government to train community counselors who in return would offer counselling services to community members.

“As a country, we are faced with a problem of many people committing suicide, we need a solid and quick solution to this problem and one of them could be introducing community counseling,” he stated.

Endjala said his view is informed by the fact that many people commit suicide due to social issues such as relationship matters and financial problems, and institutions such as hospitals where people are referred for counselling are always fully booked.

“Most psychologists or counsellors at state facilities are fully booked and people are turned back and have to wait for their chance at home whilst their problems are getting bigger and bigger, therefore it would be a good and viable idea to have community counsellors who can assist the public with counselling,” he expressed.

Endjala noted that many people with personal problems are reluctant to approach just any psychologist or counsellor as they do not want to disclose their problems just to anyone. However, if community counselling can be introduced, many members of the public can establish a rapport with them and will be willing to open up to them,” he stated.

The governor informed Confidente that he had suggested his idea to the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare and that it was agreed that a tertiary institution such as UNAM be entrusted with the training of community counsellors.

“We had a stakeholder meeting with officials from the gender ministry and I made this proposal and it was agreed that we shall take it,” he pointed out.

According to him, community counselors would work in a fashion identical to the one in which community health workers work.

Churches to blame

Endjala also blasted ‘new churches’ which he accused of pitting people, families and neighbors against each other. He said these religious establishments are making people’s problems worse.

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“They know people already have problems and they are making them worse by pitting people against each other. They must stop this practice.” He warned.

According to statistics released by the ministry of health and social services there were 679 suicides between January 2021 and May 2022, of which 559 are men and 91 women while a total of 29 children died as a result of self-inflicted harm.

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