Call to reach out for help before it’s too late

todayAugust 23, 2023 32

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As the community of Tsakane in Ekurhuleni still reels over the death of two teenage learners by suicide, the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) is urging parents to take every sign of possible depression from their children seriously.
The late teenagers were Grades 8 and 12 learners at the Tsakane Secondary School.

It is understood that four other pupils from the same school also consumed poison recently.

They are, however, recovering at medical facilities.

A male general worker from the school has also allegedly committed suicide by consuming poison at home.

SADAG is urging parents to urgently reach out should their children display any signs of depression, even if it’s just one.
“Talk to the child, listen and connect them to help,” says the organisation’s Operations Director, Cassey Chambers.
Chambers says warning signs for suicide, hurting oneself and the posting or talking frequently about death or dying.

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group says it will be visiting Tsakane Secondary School this week following the suicide cases.

Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane, through his spokesperson Xolani Mkhwemte, has expressed concern over this.

Two weeks ago, two teenagers from Temba and Soshanguve in Pretoria also took their lives. That tragedy had come barely two months after two other Ekurhuleni learners had also taken their own lives, few days apart.
According to SADAG’s website, there are 23 suicides a day recorded in South Africa and 230 serious attempts.
The organisation says the most at-risk age group for suicide in the country is adolescents (13– 19 years old) which falls within the Grade 8-10 age group.
“The tragic reality is that we are seeing teen suicides more and more in the press, and even previous reports of children as young as 10 or 9 years old who have died by suicide. There are many more cases just like these that haven’t been reported, and are an important reminder that depression and thoughts of suicide are still so stigmatized and shamed. According to the World Health Organisation, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds. Undiagnosed and untreated Depression is the leading cause of Suicide, adds the health NGO.
Below are the numbers to call should you or anyone you know might need someone to talk to.

Written by: Nokwazi Qumbisa

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