Decriminalising suicide laws key to reducing deaths

By Ellen Banda

The Connect Plus Resource Institute-CPRI has called on government to have a working national suicide prevention and mental health strategies as a way of addressing increased cases of suicide in the country.

The call has come a week after the death of Reverend William Mumba who died by committing suicide.

In an interview with YFM, Chief Executive Officer for CPRI Dennis Mwafulirwa said it is time to start treating attempted suicide as a public mental health issue than being a criminal offence.

“Our laws states that attempted suicide is a criminal offence, this puts a barrier on people to open up and seek help, we therefore call upon ministry of justice, the office of Attorney General, Ministry of health, Malawi Human Rights Commission, Parliament and all stakeholders to review and decriminalise attempted suicide in our laws,” he said.

Mwafulirwa further called on media to exercise caution when reporting suicide cases saying including suicides note increases risks of suicide to the affected party.

He said CPRI offers psychosocial therapy and is introducing a crisis intervention in suicide prevention program to help people who are going through traumatic situations to be calling to ask for help for free.

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