What is the last option?

What is the last option?
Source: Ghana|Raheem Awaafo|raheemwyse@gmail.com
Date: 07-05-2018 Time: 08:05:13:pm

Isidore Okpehu questions "the last duty" of a wife in his novel, 'The Last Duty.' To a large extent, Aku, the principal character seems to have won the argument that she didn't have a choice considering the human element. In this life, what is the last option when all seems to have lost? In this rather emotional piece, I would attempt to analyze emotions with respect to choices.

Day in and day out we hear about disheartening suicidal cases on campuses in this country. We keep losing our youth, the future leaders of this country, yet it looks like this matter is being handled lackadaisically. Is it really handled in a way as it should be? Would it be right to question the potency of steps taken by authorities to address this disturbing case? How would the argument of jurisdiction come to play in the recent suicide case? 

It is obvious that the numerous anti suicide campaigns are not serving their intended purposes. Students, for one reason or the other, also feel reluctant to visit the professionals or counselors.

The educational system in this country concentrates more on grades than the mental development of students. Counseling offices on various campuses are almost not working or in a state that does not depict their duty.

Because of this issue, students do not have that motivation to visit counselors and the few that master the courage to go, they meet an empty office or an unsatisfactory response. A more effective and result oriented approach needs to be adopted in solving this menace. If students wouldn't visit the counselor's office then the counseling must be brought to their doorsteps. Visiting the counselor's office is not the only way of solving students' problems. 

Again, the total humiliation especially openly and regretful chastising of kids by parents when something bad happens instead of healthy dialogue is a factor to consider when discussing reasons why young ones would opt for suicide over all other problem-solving options.

I suggest that while we allow the other campaigns to go on concurrently, there should be the organization of random compulsory fora by Colleges, Faculties and religious bodies on campuses where students would sensitized duly on issues concerning suicide. We should also try as much as possible to inculcate suicide talks into well attended programs on campuses like SCC in KNUST.

By doing so, the counseling gets right to the students. People who need it can indirectly get it without necessarily walking into a counselor's office. Well, I reckon its efficacy. The erroneous impression that talking about suicide openly gives people ideas must be erased from our minds. Rather talking about it helps save(s) a life. This suicide issue must be tackled head on and 'violently' with all the alacrity it deserves.

Most people who consider suicide don't really want to die, they just don't know how to cope with or eliminate the pain they are going through. This pain is purely an emotional one, whereas others are psychological.

A story is told of Stephen Hawkins, a strong abled being who had to be bedridden for the rest of his life in his prime year but due to effective counseling, motivation and inspiration, he rose above his predicament to become a well noted scientist before his death. Recently, we had reports of electoral aspirants attempting suicide after what they term "electoral dishonesty".

Comparing these two situations it is obvious that the difference is the kind of treatment and attention each party got. Let's be more sensitive in our dealings with people. The unnecessary chastisement and destructive criticism of a persona should end. Let's show that we care even in the little things we do.

Call up that friend you haven't heard from for so long to check up. This is not about being nosy, it's an act of caring that can save a life. Talk to that stranger who looks extremely worried. This is not about being overly friendly, it's an act of concern that can save a life. 

Let us all be a part of the social support system we claim is inadequate and inefficient. Let us in our own small ways provide the tangible, intangible, psychological and emotional needs to that brother or  friend. For no man is an island but a part of the continent. Providing a sense of belonging and hope for another costs nothing, but it's aftermath is rewarding. 

Let's not ignore the little suicide warning signs we see in people with excuses. Suicide prevention starts with recognizing the warning signs and taking them seriously. People who commit suicide usually wish there were other alternatives but they just can't see one.

Suicide can never be an option when there is a time to take the easy way out. Let us put ourselves in their shoes. Is suicide the last option? Let's be the alternative to suicide and each other's keeper. Let's listen more, be sympathetic and empathetic, offer hope and take people more seriously. 

Dear reader, have you ever thought of something close to suicide? Suicide doesn't end the chances of life getting worse, it eliminates the possibility of it ever getting better. Suicide is NOT and never an option. If you commit suicide, you eliminate all hope for the future and the chance to find enjoyment in life.

Pleasure and pain are two inseparable aspects of life. If you are experiencing the painful side of the coin now, you will inevitably experience the pleasurable side in the future - the tables will turn.

You will eventually learn, grow and heal from whatever situation you are in. Some of the reasons we commit suicide are just temporary problems, the hard truth is that the reasons doesn’t make sense. Suicide is not a Permanent Solution.

If you want to show someone that you love them, don't die for the person, live for them. If somebody broke your emotions, he or she is not the only human on earth and as well undeserving of you. If they left then you didn't need them in the first place. Don't kill yourself over someone you don't need because if you do you cause a negative ripple effect that may never end.

 If you have academic challenges, you are not the first and would definitely not be the last. So why kill yourself instead of challenging yourself to do better which you can? No, you aren't alone. Yes, we all feel the same way sometimes and you won't always feel like this. Yes, the world is a better place with you in it. Let's learn to love ourselves more.

Unfortunately, KNUST started the year 2018, with disturbing news. It must not happen again. As a typical African man, even though the advent of Christianity has taught us different things, I am tempted to believe that we need spiritual cleansing. Young reader, the rope, the gun, the drinking of poison and the jumping off buildings must stop.

Like my good friend CEP Sefogah would say "open up, speak up, seek help, seek counseling and don’t forget that suicide is NOT an option".



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