Rate of suicide in Nigeria is high due to social media abuse – NGO

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A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Adicare Rehabilitation Home, on Tuesday said the abuse of social media and entertainment is injurious to mental health.

The President of the organisation, Mrs Veronica Ezeh, said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that “The rate of suicide in Nigeria is high due to social media abuse; many of the things people are watching on their mobile phones are not helpful to them.”

Ezeh said she would use her NGO to provide information and enlightenment programmes for the management of mental health to avoid depression and suicide.

She said that depression could not be solved by sticking to the internet as some people resort to when faced with life challenges or depression.

“A lot of people resort to the internet whenever they are depressed, this is not the solution, people should rather seek physical help by consulting a counsellor.

“People seeking for help online cannot get it, instead what they get are the negative things that have led many to suicide.

 “In our society, we thrive more on social interaction which is being destroyed by social media now, many now chat online with their friends instead of visiting, this is not helpful,’’ she said.

Ezeh said that destroying social interaction via internet would not help in times of depression.

Also speaking, a mental health advocate, Ms Halima Layeni, said that entertainment industry has not been helpful in curbing anti-social behaviour among youths.

Layeni, Founder, Life After Abuse Foundation (LAAF), lamented that the display on entertainment had misled many, particularly youths into committing different kinds of crimes and atrocities.

According to her, the entertainment industry portrays anti-social behaviours such as smoking hard drugs and other bad behaviours as normal lifestyle.

“I think the entertainment industry has not been helpful in curbing anti-social behaviours among the youths.

“The sad part of this is that most Nigerian youths are looking up to the artistes as role models but instead they are misleading them.

“In recent times, social media has almost taken away our life, it is a distraction we must avoid, some don’t even bother to visit again, instead they chat their friends online.

“We need to go back to our original culture of social interaction and communal integration, this has worked for us in the past, social media should not take that away,’’ she said.

She called for the regulation of the entertainment industry to curb the rate of social vices in the country.