In light of Suicide Prevention day slated for Saturday, 10 September the Office of the First Lady Monica Geingos through their Break free project in partnership with popular gospel musician D-Naff has initiated a Speak-Out Seek-Help (SOSH) Music Fest.
The Mental Health Awareness Campaign is in partnership with #BreakFree and Lifeline Child line to raise awareness on Mental Health, which is one of the leading causes of suicide.
Veronica Theron who is attached to the Office of the First Lady said they will be using musicians to create awareness and sensitivity and also place a strong emphasis on art as a healing medium.
“This year we will be working with a few partnerships, one of them being the D-Naff entertainment where we will be using music artist to raise awareness. There will also be a gospel music festival in
aid of raising funds for other artist struggling with mental health challenges. We are also working with people in wellness and fitness industry where we want to use fitness to help with mental health challenges like depression, secondary trauma and post Covid trauma and as a way of coping mechanism instead of resorting to alcohol and violence.
“We will also have a big focus on art as a medium of healing, where we will use fashion design, performing arts and visual arts to encourage people to express emotions and to vent when necessary, but also to have a healthy way of dealing with mental health issues,” stated Theron.
On 10 September, the SOSH campaign will release Video messages on the prevention of Suicide by musicians and the public. The videos will be shared on all D-Naff Entertainment social media platforms as well as the partners.
The SOSH concert is set out to initiate a spirit of mental wellness and awareness among musicians, and public figures as role-models and influence Namibians to normalize mental health and seek help, which is in line with the theme for this years’ World Suicide Prevention Day: Creating Hope through Action.
Namibia has recorded at least 679 suicides between January 2021 and May 2022, of which 559 are adult males and 18 boys under the age of 18, the ministry of health and social services has revealed.
There are 91 adult female suicides and 11 juvenile female suicides among the 679 suicides.
Omusati region recorded the highest number with 105 whereas Kunene region recorded the lowest with 19 suicides.
Ohangwena region recorded 100 suicides, Khomas 80, Oshikoto 65, Oshana 56, Otjozondjupa 48, Erongo 44, Kavango East 34, Kavango West 30, //Karas 29, Hardap 25, Zambezi 24, Omaheke 20 and Kunene region with 19 suicide cases.
Deputy minister of health, Esther Utjiua Muijangue in July said that it is worth noting that more males died by suicide in both the adult and juvenile groups. As a result, different interventions with men and boys are essential in this case.
Meanwhile she said the most prevalent reasons for suicide are depression, rejection, hopelessness, family problems, poor self-worth and wanting others to know the pain they are in.
Another concert will be held on 8 October 2022 at Nampower Convention Centre, two days before world Mental Health Day which falls on 10 October 2022. This Concert will further amplify the message of suicide prevention. Testimonies and messages from survivors including musicians and mental health service providers will form part of the programme.