During the Brunch Talk Show, Angel Lawino, a psychologist working with Safe Places Uganda said that Parent and child can relationships help reduce the cases of teenage suicides that are on the rise in the country.
Earlier this week, 11-year-old Arafat Kasule, a primary four pupil at Kabira UMEA Primary School, committed suicide due to unclear reasons summing the number of children below 15 years who have committed suicide this year to 10.
According to the psychologist, death has been normalized and exposed to children through different media like news, and movies have given them an option to consider when they see no way out of complicated situations.
In addition, she noted that many parents lack a friend connection with their children, causing them to catastrophize problems.
“Creating a relationship with your child is very important. They could make big mistakes knowing that even if their parents will be mad, they will help them to sort it out. But if a child lacks that with their parents, they feel like any mistake they make just blows up in their face, they get a fear of approaching their parents,” she said.
She added that the mechanisms through which parents handle mistakes children make also determine the measures they use to protect themselves.
“As a parent, consider receiving mistakes and communicating corrections because it creates a pattern. If a child knows that any mistake they make ends up in severe punishment, it creates a buildup of emotional turmoil and could make them make the worst decisions,” she said.
Ms. Lawino noted that the factors that push teenagers to commit suicide range from immense to trivial. These include: Sexual abuse, psychological disorders such as clinical depression, schizophrenia, drug abuse, and people that have lived through traumatic experiences such as the death of a loved one, divorce, change in lifestyle, and extreme poverty causes a lack of basic needs.
She continued that religion alone sometimes can’t manage disorders like severe anxiety and anger because no matter how one prays, God works in his timing.
“When you have a headache and malaria, you may start by praying. When the headache persists till lunchtime, you buy painkillers. Why not do the same for therapy? You could have prayed for 2 - 3 months without change, and still have suicidal thoughts, so why not seek professional help,” She asked.
Additionally, she encouraged parents whose children are showing suicidal indicators such as risky behavior, withdrawal from friends and parents, withdrawal from socialization, and loss of interest in everything concerning life to seek professional help immediately.
Brunch Talk is hosted by Olive Najjuma Monica every Saturday from Midday to 1 pm on RX Radio.