SURPIN Takes Suicide Prevention Awareness To Schools - Paul Ukpabio's Blog


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Friday, 10 September 2021

SURPIN Takes Suicide Prevention Awareness To Schools

In its bid to check the rate of suicide among Nigerians,especially the youth, the Suicide Research and Prevention Initiative (SURPIN), a not-for-profit organisation, with presence in over 34 states of the country and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has engaged secondary school students in the campaign against the scourge.

National Coordinator and Consultant Psychiatrist, SURPIN, Dr. Raphael Ogbolu, while addressing the 2021 National Conference virtually on "The Youth Connecting and Strengthening Future Mental Wellbeing," noted that "SURPIN is the flag-bearer when it comes to suicide prevention in Nigeria."

Dr. Ogbolu said that this year, SURPIN keeps focus on young people, and the highlight of the conference, will be the finale of a national secondary schools’ debate where six finalist schools will debate the topic: "Can the mental health bill reduce suicide among young Nigerians?". 

He said that there was a first round of debates where secondary schools across the country sent in videos of students debating on the topic, "COVID-19 has increased suicide among young Nigerians." Ogbolu added that the entries were invited from the six geopolitical zones of the country and Lagos as a zone, which is how SURPIN is zonally structured. 

The psychiatrist said that experts screened the first round entries and one school emerged from each of the zones, except the North-East, which did not send any entries. 
He added that "The six finalists’ debate entries will be played live on the day of the conference and based on scores from a panel of judges and online votes, 1st, 2nd and 3rd places will be awarded with prize monies (250,000, 150,000 and 100,000 respectively).

Dr. Ogbolu said that the event will hold virtually and physically on Saturday, September 11, at the Old Great Hall, College of Medicine University of Lagos, Surulere, while registration details to join virtually are available on the website

While promising that the event will be a very informative one, the medical expert noted that the conference will also feature a powerful keynote lecture from a versatile mental health specialist and psychiatrist in line with the new normal imposed by COVID-19.

The aim of the conference, Dr. Ogbolu said, is to "Create awareness of mental wellbeing among the youth, because they are the future leaders of our country and they need to be aware, and in doing so, they can help promote mental health and suicide prevention."

He added that through its hotlines and ingenious programmes, "SURPIN has saved many lives. In the past four years, it has engaged in various activities and has consistently come up with ways of creating awareness and promoting suicide prevention, including the use of drama during its 2020 national conference."

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