Pharmacists Jerome Kanyika has shared his opinion on the disturbing rise in suicide cases.

He strongly believes the ease with which prescription drugs can be accessed is partially to blame for the rise in suicides and attempted suicides.

This is because prescription level drugs strong enough to kill a fully grown human when taken in excess are being sold by some pharmacies like day-to-day over-the-counter medicines.

To a large extent, we believe his observations have merit and deserve to be investigated.

However, there is a darker side not being spoken about enough related to the suicides — mental health.

The unfortunate deaths recorded have exposed the inefficiencies in Zambia’s national health care system that is often overlooked and underfunded.

The several suicides in the span of one month have placed much needed focus on mental health.

Close to half a dozen teenagers have taken their lives linked to their abysmal failure at grade 12.

Outside of these exam-stress related deaths, we have had yet more suicides among the adult population weighed down emotional stress and financial burdens like debt who feel the only way out is to kill themselves.

This clearly shows that a large number of our population has mental health and substance abuse issues of varying degrees that are not being addressed by our health care system.

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