Don’t Maltreat the Widow/Widower, they can easily commit suicide – Mental Health Expert Says

Don’t Maltreat the Widow/Widower, Suicide attempt is likely


Sunyani, May 24, 2024

Mrs. Gifty Brany, in charge of 

Community mental health at the Sunyani Municipal Mental Health Unit says a bereaved thinking about the lost spouse and at the same time suffering maltreatment from the family or relatives can easily commit suicide.

She noted the widow or widower thinking about how to take good care of the children whilst the pains of his or her loved one exists go through suicidal thoughts and ideations, making them likely to commit suicide if not counseled

Mrs. Brany told News in an interview on Wednesday in Sunyani.

She stated the maltreatment can worsened the helpless feelings of the distressed bereaved and push many of them into alcoholism and abuse of drugs.

The mental health expert observed that the widow or widower become disorganized, goes through series of health challenges, lose weight and sees changes in their eating pattern as a result of the situation.

Mrs. Brany added many widows or widowers going through such challenges also experience serious unstable mind, hence the option to commit suicide.

Miss Nancy Fosuaa, an Officer of the Unit, on that note pleaded with families and friends to keep eye on their bereaved relatives, engage and embrace them, encourage them and ensure they avoid any additional consequences. 

In further development, Mrs Gifty Nyarko Karikari, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) G2 Foundation noted many people who lost their spouses indulge in alcoholism and other substances abuse for temporary relief, but the act rather worsened mental instability and physical health.

The G2 Foundation is a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) seeking health, education and socioeconomic welfare of the vulnerable, particularly widows, widowers, orphans, Persons with Disabilities and the elderly.

Mrs Nyarko Karikari said alcoholism and the use of other substances do more harm, hence, cautioned widows and widowers that regular drinking can impair parenting and affects the childrens’ well-being as well as delaying psychological recovery.

She stated “despite the initial sedative effects of alcohol, it rather disrupts sleep, numbs emotions and hinders grief processing”.

Mrs Nyarko Karikari indicated some crucial mechanisms to cope with the such situations were seeking counseling support and the bold decision to step away from substances in troubled times.

Some other ways to overcome the circumstances are seeking proper medical advice and taking proper medications to aid in curbing the desire to drink alcohol, she added.

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