Suicide is a complex, devastating and tragic issue that affects communities worldwide and knows no boundaries. According to Youth statement in November 29th 2021, suicide is the third-leading cause of death among adolescents. Boys are more likely to commit suicide while girls are more likely to attempt it. They add that there are some myths or ideas that are not true about responding to suicidal kids;

  • Once a teenager decides to commit suicide, nothing will stop them. 
  • If you ask teens if they are planning to kill themselves, you might plant the idea in their head.
  • Most kids talk about suicide just to get attention, so it is best to ignore the topic.

 In recent years, there has been growing concern about the increasing rates of suicide among young people in Kiambu County, Kenya. According to the data complied between April and June 2021 by the Department of Operations at DCI, Central Kenya leads with181 suicide cases, with Kiambu County alone accounting for 109 of the cases. Rift Valley region comes second with 68 cases followed by Nyanza 67, Nairobi 63 while Eastern Region had 57 cases. This very article has its aim on getting to let out the gravity of the problem, explore its underlying causes, and propose potential solutions to tackle this pressing issue. By raising awareness and promoting proactive measures on this urgent matter, we can all work together to prevent youth suicide and ensure the well-being of our future generations. By this we will also work towards creating a safer and more supportive environment for the youth in Kiambu County.

The alarming increase in youth suicide cases in Kiambu County has sparked a sense of urgency and a call for immediate action. According to recent statistics, suicide rates among young people between the ages of 15 and 24 have been steadily rising over the past decade. Behind these numbers are stories of pain, despair, and loss that are devastating families and communities. While it is crucial to understand that suicide is a multifaceted issue influenced by various factors, it is essential to address this growing crisis head-on. 

In the Peoples’ Daily Newspaper 2021, new data was released by the police that revealed that at least 483 Kenyans have committed suicide within three months. In the list, Kiambu County tops with the highest number of people who have taken their lives through different methods. Addressing the same, DCI Boss George Kinoti called on the government agencies to initiate a research that will identify the root cause of the problem and find a robust solution for the same.

To effectively combat youth suicide, it is essential to delve into underlying causes contributing to this problem. While each case is unique, several common factors have been identified. Among them are mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. The stigma surrounding mental health in our society often prevents young individuals from seeking help and support when they need it the most. Negative attitudes and misconceptions can prevent young people from seeking help and support. Additionally, a lack of awareness about available resources and mental health services exacerbates the problem, leaving vulnerable individuals without access to vital assistance. 

According to the Nation Newspaper September 15,2021, Muungano wa Wajane official Dr. Bertha Gaitho told Nation Africa that about 40% of the organizations’ members were widowed when their spouses died by suicide. She said that many of the cases stemmed from depression. She goes ahead to urge the people of Central Kenya not to hold onto archaic beliefs that suicides are a result of witchcraft.

Additionally, social and environmental factors play a significant role. High levels of stress, academic pressure, unemployment, poverty, and familial discord can all contribute to feelings of hopelessness and isolation. Lack of access to mental health services, including counseling and support networks, exacerbates the problem, leaving vulnerable youths feeling trapped and without adequate resources to cope with their challenges.

To address the youth suicide crisis in Kiambu County, a multi-faceted approach is necessary. First and foremost, raising awareness about mental health and reducing stigma associated with it is paramount. Implementing mental health education campaigns within schools, communities, and media outlets can help dispel misconceptions and encourage open conversations about mental well-being.

Moreover, it is crucial to establish comprehensive mental health support systems within the county. This includes ensuring accessible and affordable mental health services, such as counseling centers and helplines, where young people can seek assistance without fear of judgement and shame. Collaborations between government agencies, non-profit organizations, and community leaders are essential to creating a robust network of resources.

Empowering young people with the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate challenges and build resilience is crucial in preventing youth suicide. Schools should prioritize mental health education and incorporate it into the curriculum. Providing students with coping mechanisms, stress management techniques, and fostering emotional intelligence can make a significant difference in their overall well-being.

Furthermore, establishing peer support groups and mentorship programs can create safe spaces for young people to share their struggles, seek guidance, and form meaningful connections. Encouraging youth engagement in community activities, sports, arts and other extracurricular pursuits can also foster a sense of belonging and purpose, which are vital protective factors against suicide.

In conclusion, youth suicide is a deeply concerning issue affecting Kiambu County, demanding immediate attention and action. By collectively addressing the underlying factors contributing to this crisis and implementing proactive strategies, promoting mental health awareness, and establishing accessible support systems, we can make significant strides in preventing suicide among our youth. It is very crucial to remember that every life is valuable, and together, let us create a suitable environment where young individuals feel valued, supported and well equipped with the necessary tools into creating a brighter future for Kiambu County.

About The Author


Joseph Mbithi