SEPTEMBER TOWS- Suicide and Suicidal behaviour in children and adolescents- Dr Folorunsho Nuhu


  • Introduction/definition

  • Epidemiology and trends in nigeria

  • Risk factors

  • Methods of suicide attempt

  • Prevention.

  • Questions and Answers.

Definition of Keywords:

Suicide: suicide is an act of taking one’s life, deliberately initiated and carried out by the person concerned with the intention of a fatal outcome (1)

Suicidal behaviour: This is a continuum of behaviours ranging from individual wishing himself/herself dead to the actual deeds of killing self

The continum ranges from Suicidal thoughts, Suicidal ideation, Suicidal intent, Suicidal plan, Suicidal attempts and possibly suicides.

Children: Individuals younger than 11 years of age

Adolesents: Individuals in the transition stage from childhood to adulthood. Usually from 11-19 years (1).

Epidemiology and trends of suicide and suicidal behaviour in Nigerian youths:

Concentrate on data from Nigeria we're all aware of the fact that Suicide is usually underreported for reasons like stigma, discrimination and misconceptions.


A suicide estimate of 17.3/100,000 population across all age group has been reported (3)

A study in the South West Nigeria reported more than 20% Suicidal ideation and 12% Suicidal attempts amongst school children between the ages of 10 and 17 years (4).

From a recent newspaper reports (5), there has been an upsurge in suicide especially among young people in the last 12 months.

Newspaper reports reviewed by Daily Trust showed that no fewer than 51 persons comprising males and females took their own lives within the period.

The suicide cases were recorded in 22 states – Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, FCT, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers and Zamfara.

It showed an increase of 17 when compared with the 34 suicide cases recorded in Nigeria in 2020.

The figure does not include the multitude of cases of suicide that have not been reported in the media because of many factors, among them the reluctance of family members to divulge information.

Eighty-five people reportedly killed themselves in Nigeria in 2019, up from 79 in 2018 and 66 in 2017.