Following the tragic news of the attempted suicide of beloved friend and musician Nada Salama, we got to wondering about the services offered in Egypt for those who are considering ending their lives.
Suicide is a reality in every part of the world. According to the World Health Organization, over one million people die each year by their own hands – a rate of one death every 40 seconds and 16 deaths per 100,000 people.
Statistically, successful suicide accounts for nearly 2% of all deaths worldwide. Sadly, statistics only go so far. In most of Africa and the Middle East, there is little to no data on the topic due to societal taboos against suicide and unorganized medical documentation. Egypt is no exception.
In Egypt, there is currently no suicide hotline. Up until recently, there was one organization – an Egyptian branch of the British NGO, Befrienders – that offered a few operating phone numbers, an emergency e-mail hotline and a safe, accessible location in Mohandeseen. However, the non-profit was volunteer-run by trained professionals, and as such, resources and calling hours were limited. It has since shut down.
But there remains a critical question: Why is there no suicide hotline in Egypt?
Shouldn’t the Egyptian government provide its citizens with this vital service? Since, according to Al-Ahram in 2010, at least 4,000 Egyptians committed suicide and more than 50,000 Egyptians attempted suicide in 2008, doesn’t the Egyptian government have an interest in protecting lives?
Why are resources for mental health so limited?
Where is the Egyptian Ministry of Health?
Why doesn’t the Egyptian Health Department’s page on “Suicide Prevention” load?
Why are psychological issues, including depression, not taken seriously by the government or the public?
How is this acceptable?
WE SAID THIS: Check out Mental Health Resources In Egypt.