According to the World Health Organization (WHO) suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people aged between 15-29 years old, another report by the same organization released late last year revealed that someone dies every 40 seconds in the world due to suicide and that majority of the victims are youths.

In the last few years, there is a worrying trend of suicide cases among young people in the country. Psychologists have attributed this to the following:

First, is the disconnect between children and their parents. Professional parents are engrossed in their careers leaving their children in the hands of house helps. These children are deprived of proper parenting structures making them susceptible to lack of proper mentorship and guidance. The endurance capacity among these group of young people is minimal hence a slight provocation leads to suicidal thoughts.

Secondly, most youths commit suicide in their desperate cry for attention. These young people feel neglected or ignored by their peers or parents hence in a bid to get their attention to attempt suicide. Unfortunately, most of these cases turn fatal leading to death or lifelong injuries.

Thirdly, is frustration by the young people mostly caused by unemployment. Many young people who have undertaken their studies in colleges and universities anticipate blissful life and immediate employment opportunities thereafter. This, however, is not always the case and they are forced to ‘tarmac’ leading to disillusionment and frustration. Those whose coping mechanisms are low resort to suicide leaving behind depressed parents.

There are several ways of mitigating this, first is the welcome move by the Ministry of Education to revise the curriculum. The education system in the Country should adequately prepare the students for life after school. This can be through the introduction of skill-based courses that can guarantee self-employment after completion of studies.

Additionally, parents should ensure that they are available to their children by having an open and frank conversation with them to encourage them to describe their feelings and discuss issues such as self-worth, self-harm and suicidal feelings.

By Jonathan Tyno Rotino, Youth Senator-West Pokot County. The article was first published at the Star Newspaper.

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