Amuru student commits suicide for “no reasons”, clergy asked to intervene

A senior three student only identified as Ojok of Bright College Secondary school in Otwer Town Council in Amuru district has committed suicide. The incident happened on Sunday 23, December, 2018.

He died instantly at around 5:00 pm. Witness [Wellborn Okello also an LC1 chairperson] of the area told police in Amuru that the deceased might have swallowed poisonous substance.

ASP Jimmy Patrick Okema, the Aswa region police spokesperson confirmed the incident and said the boy was suspected to have taken poisonous substance.

Okema reveals that police has commenced investigation into the matter.

“We have started investigating the case of suicide by Ojok S.3 of Bright College SS after it was reported by LC1 Mr Wellborn Okello even though no family members came to report to the police,” Okema said

Ojok’s incident bring to a total of 111 deaths by suicide registered by police in Aswa region in the eight district of Gulu, Omoro, Nwoya, Kitgum, Pader, Agago, Lamwo and Amuru in Acholi sub-region.

The recent incident was on December 1st 2018, where a prominent person and a former Gulu district sports officer, Aldo Otto Okot was suspected to have committed suicide by hanging self on a tree at his residential home in Pece P’Odyek in Pece division Gulu Municipality.

The statistics however leaves police in Aswa region in shocked as suicide cases being reported continues to go up.

From 2016 to date, Mr Okema says reported cases of suicide remains high, citing domestic issues. The Police chief calls for concerted efforts by both stakeholders, especially religious leaders.

Mr. Okema was speaking to journalist in Gulu town on Monday, 24, December, 2018.

“We still have high cases of suicides in Aswa and our records shows that between 2016 to date a total 111 people died by suicide and this calls for concerted effort from our religious leaders to help in talking to those they preach God’s words to about the vice,” Okema he asked.

He attributed the rising cases to several issues: “In the region suicides cases are due to domestic issues, fear of responsibility, dissatisfaction by one on family members, discovery of HIV positive statuses, over drinking of alcohol among others,” Okema attributed

The breakdown of the statistics shows that 25 cases were registered in 2016, 48 cases in 2017 and 38 cases recorded in 2018.

Okema says police will continue with intensive sensitization during community policing comes 2019. “We shall continue with sensitization comes January 2019 and we calls upon churches to help in talking to their members against suicide but we also advise people having depression over issues in their personal lives to open up to their relatives or leaders so that they are helped other than committing suicide,” he advises.

Recently, the Aruu North MP Lucy Aciro, raised the concern of rising suicide cases in Pader district, calling for expedited investigation and appropriate measures by government as a lasting solution into the matter.

She said her constituency Aruu North since January 2018 registered 15 suicides cases with Lapul sub-county topping with seven cases, Lagur sub-county with four and others recorded in Atanga sub-county.

However, statistics continues to put Omoro district, particularly sub-counties of Koro and Omoro and Nwoya district particularly in Koch Goma sub-county as leaders.

Other districts are Gulu, Amuru, and Kitgum out of the eight districts in Acholi sub-region.

When TND News Uganda interviewed Dr Isaac Ogwal a psychologist at African Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Tortured Victims, (ACTV) Gulu branch, he said many cases of suicide are registered among male compared to female.

“Cases of executed suicide are common with men because of their ego. Most men die with their own problems without seeking support compared to women who easily seeks support,” Dr Ogwal noted.

He advises people to avoid keeping issues that stress them to themselves, urging that whenever one exposes what bothers them to people they trust, they can be helped hence reducing the risk of committing suicide.

 He also noted that most NGOs through their post war recovery intervention neglected aspect of psychological support and concentrated majorly on livelihood yet people’s mindset needed support.

“Most NGOs through their work in the post war recovery process neglected addressing psychological problems that is why up to date many people continue suffering psychologically hence the mental torture and suicides,” Dr Ogwal reveals.

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