After AFM pastor commits suicide on video, here are a few things think about…

We are all in shock over the suicide of AFM junior pastor and gospel musician Richard Nhika filmed himself committing suicide.

Suicide is painless #5

The suicide by poison was over a heartbreak over a woman called Nomatter:

I will always love you Nomatter, which is why when I saw you I never insulted you or said anything bad.

I have decided to die next to this tree so that everyone can see, this is real poison you can even see for yourself.

This has left a country in shock especially given this was a recorded suicide. Often it is shocking enough just hearing about it but seeing it happening, unfolding feels so tragic.

With the recent spate of suicides via social media livestreams, the most recent being that of aspiring American actor Jay Bowdy, who took his life after being arrested for sexual assault there are now concerns over what the public sees and causes them distresses.

We will come back to that in a bit.

The biggest concern in Zimbabwe is how we take issues related to mental health. So little support is available and where it  can be found it is either poorly advertised or overwhelmed.

Also the taboo associated with admitting you need assistance results in people choosing not to go to avail themselves of these facilities. In some societies family will intervene but in this country, when someone is seen struggling, people associate it with some sort of other-world spiritual issues, hexes and stuff.

The reality is long before it gets to suicide, the signs are always there. And with care, love and affection, you can assist people struggling with mental issues. It’s hard for someone to admit they are not coping and so when someone even hints that they are in trouble, get involved.

And then it brings us back to the public suicides we see now. It is a worrying trend because it brings so many things we thought were consigned to fiction to life. It is tools that we are putting in people’s hands, but are they ready?

And with the financial challenges in Zimbabwe at the moment, we are worried.