A family in Enabelbel area in Narok North is in morning after their 24-year-old varsity student committed suicide on Saturday evening.
The deceased, Elvis Soit Loloiba who was a third-year student at Moi University`s faculty of Science and Technology was found hanging from a rope in their home compound by the caretaker Alex Ngoilelo as their mother who is a serving police officer was away on duty.
Confirming the incident, Narok County Police Commander Mr. John Kizito Mutoro said initial investigations at the scene show the deceased could have taken rat poison before hanging himself as a used packet of the lethal stuff was found in the house.
The family and the community were this morning trying to come to terms with the sudden death of their loved whose young promising life has been nipped in the bud.
The body of the deceased has been moved to Narok Referral Hospital mortuary pending postmortem and further investigation into the incident as the family prepares for the burial.
Suicide is connected to the state of the mental health of a person who commits or attempts to commit it.
It was established that due to hard economic times which has been compounded by the advent of the Coronavirus pandemic, millions of Kenyans are suffering from mental stress but in silence, unable to get the help they need for their mental health status owing to the fact that the country has few specialists to handle mental problems.
This situation prompted the government to form a task force led by renowned psychiatrist Dr. Frank Njenga to inquire into the problem and make recommendations.
According to documented cases, nearly 20 university students across the country committed suicide in the country between 2014 and 2018. Sadly, the trend seems to have hit a new high especially with hard economic times and advent of Coronavirus pandemic.
Last month a 25-year-old University of Nairobi student who was about to graduate committed suicide inside their family business in Mulot area in Narok West sub-county.
Data from the Ministry of Health shows that at least 370 people have committed suicide in Kenya in the last six months pointing to the gravity of the mental health situation in the country since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
The report shows that out of 370 people who committed suicide during the pandemic, 93 cases were from Central Kenya with 87 of them being men and six women. Nairobi accounts for more than 60 cases and Mombasa 50.
The report titled; Effects of Covid-19 on mental health and compiled by a multi-agency on coronavirus response reveals that since March this year, more than 1.9 million Kenyans have suffered mental stress occasioned by the adverse effects of Covid-19, including job losses and deaths.
This presents a 53 per cent increase compared to the same period last year, hence the rise in suicide cases.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 800,000 people die from suicide each year (that is one person every 40 seconds), majority of them aged 15-29.
In Kenya, WHO data estimates that 1,408 people commit suicide yearly, or simply put, four deaths daily, a number that is higher than what the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics for 2018 which was 421 deaths.
In 2017, a WHO report ranked Kenya as the sixth African country and 117th globally with the highest levels of depression.