Bedfordview: Let’s talk about teen suicide prevention

In light of recent events in Bedfordview, the topic of suicide is on everyone’s lips.

According to the World Health Organisation, a suicide occurs every 40 seconds and an attempt is made every 3 seconds

In South Africa, hanging is the most frequently employed method of suicide, followed by shooting, gassing, and burning.

Risk factors for suicide among the young include the presence of mental illness- especially depression, conduct disorder, alcohol and drug abuse; previous suicide attempts; and the availability of firearms in the home. In South Africa 60% of people who commit suicide are depressed

“Teen suicides are real and rob many young people of a future as well as our society of a future. Let us speak about teen suicides today so that we may never have to in the future,” says clinical psychologist Zamo Mbele.

The male death rate for suicide was 21 per 100,000 people, over 5 times higher than the female death rate by suicide of 4.

A racial breakdown of the Medical Research Council’s suicide statistics reveals that white men have the highest suicide rate in the country. For every 100,000 white men in South Africa in 2012, 30 white men died as a result of suicide. This was 2.5 higher than the national suicide death rate of 12 and 1.4 times higher than the national male suicide rate.

Warning signs to look out for in yourself and others:

• Talking or thinking about dying.

• Experiencing deep depression, mood swings or feelings of emptiness.

• Talking about being in pain or feeling trapped.

• Withdrawing from loved ones.

• Feeling hopeless and alone.

• Using more alcohol or drugs.

• Feeling like a burden to others.

• Acting reckless or agitated.

• Experiencing changes in eating, sleeping, and energy levels.

• Preparing for death like setting up a will or giving away personal loved possessions.

• Finding no pleasure in anything.

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call the Sadag  suicide crisis helpline on 0800 567 567

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