The Mental Health Authority has announced the establishment of a temporary helpline aimed at suicide prevention in the country.

According to Dr Akwasi Osei, chief executive officer of the Mental Health Authority, there are discussions with the mobile networks to establish a permanent toll free number.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic, the country’s chief psychiatrist said suicide was mainly a last resort for those contemplating it.

“Even though they are happy when their attempt fails, they are likely to do it again if they do not get the needed intervention,”

According to Dr Osei, the recent spate of suicides was a very strong indication that “[as a country] we are not paying proper attention to mental health care in the country.”

Dr Osei said as high as 95 per cent of completed suicide or attempted cases were are because the individual has a history of mental illness.

He further explained while 80 per cent out of percentage was due to depression, 15 percent was due to other mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, acute stress reaction, alcohol and drug abuse.

The helpline for suicide prevention is 020-681-4666.