Journal of
Public Health and Epidemiology

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Health Epidemiol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2316
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPHE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 616

Full Length Research Paper

Confessions: Suicidal ideation on a Ghanaian radio program

Mensah Adinkrah
  • Mensah Adinkrah
  • Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work Central Michigan University 126 Anspach Hall Mount Pleasant, Michigan, 48859 U.S.A.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 20 November 2013
  •  Accepted: 26 May 2014
  •  Published: 31 July 2014


On July 17, 2013, listeners to a Ghanaian radio program were invited to telephone in and describe their personal experiences of suicidal ideation on air. Those who called the studio were asked four pointed questions by the program’s host: (1) Have you ever formed a suicidal intention? (2) What precipitated the formation of the suicidal ideation? (3) What suicide method did you plan to use? (4) Why did you refrain from carrying out the act? The program was digitally recorded, transcribed, translated into English and then subjected to a rigorous analysis of the main thematic issues. This article presents results from the analysis of the data that accrued from the program and discusses the implications of such data for suicide research and prevention in Ghana. Findings indicate that all the suicide ideators were female, young and affected by traumatic life events or family conflict. All four ideators experienced suicidal thoughts but had not attempted suicide. Overall, the results are consistent with extant findings in the suicidology literature. Given the paucity of information on fatal and nonfatal suicidal behavior in Ghana, the information contained herein potentially advances current knowledge and understandings of the nature and patterns of suicidal behavior in this geographic and cultural region of the world.


Key words: Suicide, suicidal ideation, suicidal thoughts, suicidal behavior, Ghana.