The figures were registered between May and July 2022.
According to officials from Northern Province, many individuals attempted to commit suicide due to depression and family conflicts. They have also disclosed that there are measures being put in place to sensitize residents against taking their own lives to strive for a purpose-driven life.
“Reasons pushing individuals to commit suicide include mental disorders, chronic diseases that might lead to depression and family disputes. We have taken measures to continue educating residents in collaboration with all relevant partners with a view to change their mindsets, restore hope for better life and remind them of possible alternatives to solve problems facing them without opting for suicide,” said the Governor of Northern Province, Dancille Nyirarugero.
Suicide can be prevented through dealing with its causes including depression where psychotherapists can help individuals to focus on the positive side of life to cope with hardships.
Psychologists say that a depressed individual with someone staying closer to him/her can start perceiving life in a different perspective after one week and find solutions from circumstances that seemed to have no way for future hope.
In the fiscal year 2019/2020, a total of 291 people committed suicide in Rwanda while the number reduced to 285 in 2020/2021.
The causes of suicide for 47% of those individuals is not identified, 28% committed suicide over family disputes, 8% of the deaths is linked to mental illness, 4% to depression, 3% to land related disputes while 3% is linked to chronic diseases.
Among others, 2% is linked to deception among couples, 2% to extreme poverty, 2% to debts while 2% committed suicide over losses.
Men represent 82% of the total number while women account for 18%.
The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that 60% of 800,000 individuals commit suicide every year over depression while 90% suffer from one of mental illnesses.
Dr. Yvonne Kayiteshonga, Mental Health Division Manager at Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) recently told IGIHE that people about to commit suicide show signs which people around them do not pay attention to.
“Sometimes, a person discloses that he/she is not feeling well, haunted by negative mindsets, does not sleep or has been faced with depression for long. An individual might even hear odd voices which other people cannot hear or see what others are unable to see. He/she can sweat, develop fear, and tend to run away, the heart can beat fast or might avoid interactions with others,” she said.
Dr. Kayiteshonga advised people around individuals with such symptoms to stay closer and rush them to health facilities.
The Eastern Province registers the largest number of suicide cases with 29%, followed by Western Province with 23%. The Northern Province has 19% of the country’s total suicide cases ; Southern Province represents 18% while Kigali City registers 11%.
Nyagatare District recorded largest number of suicide cases with 7% followed by Gasaba, Gicumbi, Rutsiro with 6% respectively while Karongi registered 5%.
Figures show that those who committed suicide by hanging account for 78%, 16% used poisonous substances, 5% committed suicide by drowning while 0.1% jumped over buildings.