A Private Legal Practitioner, Lawyer Eric Ansah Ankomah has expressed the need for the Ghana Education Service (GES) to strengthen the already existing Guidance and Counseling Units in all levels of education in the country to cater for personal problems that may affect academics or relations in Schools.

The Lawyer who said he did not want to sound prejudicial due to a pending case at the Supreme Court, was of the view that, effective guidance and counseling units will not only maintain academic standards but will also address the challenges that are likely to provoke Suicidal thoughts.

The Sunyani-based lawyer, Eric Ansah Ankomah noted that both society and the academic environment today are confronted with many life-threatening challenges that if not checked, could jeopardize the destiny of the future generation.

He made the call when he spoke to Mark Abisah on “Suncity Morning Drive” on Suncity Radio in Sunyani on whether or not suicide should be decriminalized.

Section 57 (2) of the act of the criminal offence, 1960 (act 29) makes attempted suicide a criminal offense.

But Mr Christian Lebrechet Malm-Hesse, a private Legal Practitioner is invoking the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to decriminalize attempted suicide in Ghana, saying, any person who attempts suicide is suffering from a mental disability and should be given psychological treatment and not incarceration.

Lawyer Ansah Ankomah averred that the youth have issues and should be taking advantage of the school’s Guidance and Counseling Units if they are strengthened and well functional.

He stressed that a strengthened Guidance and Counselling Unit, aside from assisting students on Educational and Vocational related issues, would also provide support services in student’s welfare, self-examination, self-evaluation, and analysis of alternatives to issues with the potential to jeopardize their education and life.

This, he believes will help douse suicide thoughts from the minds of students when confronted with life challenges, with strengthening Guidance and Counselling Units in schools.

But on the contrary, Mr. Fred Asante, Chief Executive Officer of Sikapa Farms, who spoke on the same show, maintained that, failed Suicide attempt victims should be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others.

He opined that there is no justification whatsoever for any Human Being, Rich or Poor, to take his or her life or that of others.

“Don’t kill yourself, suicide is a disgrace to the family, share your problems with the right people” he said.    

According to 2019 Naghavi & Global, Burden of Disease Self-Harm Collaborators report suicide remains in the 12 leading causes of death among young people aged 10–24 in sub-Sahara Africa. And Child Right International recently have also expressed the worrying growing number of suicide cases among the youth.