Deputy minister of health and social services Ester Muinjangue yesterday during the launch of a suicide prevention song in Windhoek said the song was not only about raising awareness, but also about breaking the stigma around mental health issues.
The song is about promoting a culture of openness, empathy, and support, she said.
“It is my conviction that promoting and advocating suicide prevention through the song that we are about to launch would decrease the rate of suicide.
“Through this song we will raise awareness among everyone, young and old, and offer help to people who are hurting or struggling with their lives and are considering removing themselves from existence,” Muinjangue said.
She said music is a universal language that everyone understands, and is effective for relaxation and stress management.
Music reduces loneliness, creates a sense of togetherness, and brings people together, Muinjangue said.
“I understand this song is not only about suicide awareness, but also aims to eradicate the stigma around mental health issues and promotes a culture of openness, empathy, and support by fostering conversations.
“It is about instilling hope and encouraging those in need to seek help,” she said.
The theme of World Suicide Prevention Day 2023 is ‘Creating Hope Through Action’.
According to Muinjangue, this reflects the need for collective action to address this serious public health issue.
Speaking at the same event Khomas governor Laura Mcleod-Katjirua said the launch of the song reflects the commitment of the Namibian government to address the issue of suicide.
“We need to react as a collective to address and respond to this alarming challenge in our beloved communities,” Mcleod-Katjirua said.
She said the nation needs to stand together to fight the challenges and hardships caused by suicide.
Mcleod-Katjirua said asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but one of strength and bravery.
She said community members should try to give people with depression security and confidence.
The governor applauded the Ministry of Health and Social Services for its dedication to addressing health challenges in Namibia.
“I want to proudly congratulate the ministry of health and other development and social partners for continuing to stand tall and firm in addressing the health-related challenges in our communities,” Mcleod-Katjirua said.
The chairperson of the Khomas Suicide Prevention Task Force, Tuhafeni Talia, said the more individuals become involved in the prevention of suicide, the more success the task force would see.
She said the task force strives to reduce Namibia’s suicide rate to zero.
“The more we are, the more we can succeed in our goal to reach zero suicides, because that is our motto as the Khomas Suicide Prevention Task Force,” Talia said.
The suicide prevention song is titled ‘Speak Up, Reach Out’ and is performed by local artists, including Allen Jonathan, aka ‘Swart Baster’, Tekla Iita, aka ‘Tequila’, and Monka ‘Mo’.
The song was produced by Paulus Vasconcelho, aka ‘S Drum Kid’, and Lukas Kambinda, better known as ‘DJ Chronic’.
The song spreads the message that suicide is not the answer and is yet to be released on public platforms.