By Thandie Chadzandiyani

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The alarming increase of suicide cases in Malawi has prompted Connect Plus Resource Institute (CPRI) to act and launch a suicide prevention week.

On September 4, 2021 a local social enterprise organization CPRI has launched the first ever Suicide Prevention Week (SPW) in Malawi.

Speaking ahead of the launch in Lilongwe, CPRI’s Chief Executive Officer Dennis Mwafulirwa, said the Suicide Prevention Week from September 5 to 11, 2021 will be observed every year and will coincide with the World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10 each year.

“These two events will help us encourage a healthy conversation around suicide and promote measures for reducing cases of suicide and suicide attempts.

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve seen an increase in conversations around mental health. We need to encourage this conversation, and the one around suicide,” said Mwafulirwa.

Malawi Police Service statistics show that between January and March 2021, the country witnessed a 72% rise in suicide deaths compared to the same period in 2020; and there was a 57% increase in such cases between January and August 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

“These numbers call for urgent action,” said Mwafulirwa.

The grouping is therefore calling stakeholders and the general public to join the suicide prevention conversation this coming week and beyond.

The organization has also called on government to designate every second week of September “a National Suicide Prevention Week” as part of a broader strategy for preventing suicide and suicide attempts in Malawi.

According to the World Health Organization, globally, every 40 seconds a person dies by suicide and many more attempt suicide.

Connect Plus Resource Institute is a local social enterprise organization established in response to the growing mental health and wellness needs in Malawi.

“The organization is dedicated to supporting Malawians build, strengthen and sustain healthy lifestyle and wellness practices by providing professional, evidence based and confidential mental health and wellness services and solutions”. Mwafulirwa explained.

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