The Mental Health Authority has disclosed that the leading causes of suicidal deaths in the country are; divorce, breakups, unemployment and financial distress.

The Chief Executive of the Authority, Prof. Akwasi Osei, made this revelation at the launch of the WHO Director General’s Special Initiative for Mental Health in Accra on Wednesday.

According to him, records show that people between the ages of 16 and 35 have been the most affected.

In Ghana, the number of people attempting suicide increased from 777 in 2020 to 902 in 2021.

Similarly, the number of actual suicides recorded for the same period increased from 69 in 2020 to 86 in 2021.

Due to the increasing number of suicide cases recorded, Prof. Osei called for a “policy that will determine a systematic approach to handling issues.”

He also stated that the authority has taken some steps to help mitigate the problem, such as creating helplines for people needing mental health support.

He, however, said that the trouble with the helpline is that it is not toll-free.

“So we need a policy that will ensure that we have the helpline, a toll-free line paid for and everybody can call in freely,” he added.