Teen Suicide Prevention not only encourages teens to come forward but also tells them where to go for help in their own community. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency
Cape Town - Teen Suicide is in the spotlight in South Africa once again. 

SADAG run the National Toll Free Suicide Crisis Helpline which takes a huge number of calls from teens who are calling for themselves or on behalf of a friend. This Suicide Call Center has already saved hundreds of lives. Throughout Teen Suicide Prevention week SADAG will be raising awareness through school talks, Online Content, Facebook Friday online chats and so much more. This awareness not only encourages teens to come forward but also tells them where to go for help in their own community and how to contact the Suicide Call Center.

Skilled counsellors support the helplines and encourage teens to get professional help, to talk to an adult they trust, to go to a doctor, or talk to a friend or teacher. There is a range of brochures and pamphlets which are distributed throughout schools to educate students on Teen Suicide Prevention and encourages them to look out for warning signs amongst friends and family members too.

Remember that people who are thinking about suicide feel alone and isolated, and often feel like no one understands how they feel. Changes in life may be upsetting and they may want to escape a difficult problem or situation, or get relief from terrible stress. You may know if your friend or loved one is going through a tough time.

Identify the warning signs of Teen Suicide and get guidance on how to help a loved one or friend by taking a look at  this brochure .

Some of the underlined factors that contribute to teen suicide are normally a combination of issues that come together to make the teen feel so overwhelmed and unable to cope with their problems, then suicide seems like the only solution. 

The key contributing factor to suicide is undiagnosed and untreated depression, some other triggers especially amongst teens include relationship issues (whether with boyfriends/girlfriends, best friends, parents, etc.), family problems (divorce, separation, abuse, domestic violence), grief, loss of a loved one, bullying, trauma, illness, etc.

SADAG receives 600 calls every day from people who feel sad, depressed or have been raped, being bullied, or struggling with financial issues, not being able to afford health treatment, or the loss of a loved one and becoming deeply lonely - SADAG are here to help.

If you are worried about your teen or friend who may be depressed or suicidal, contact a counsellor at SADAG 0800 567 567, 0800 21 22 23 and The 24hr Cipla Mental Health Helpline 0800 456 789 or visit www.sadag.org

SADAG can provide free telephonic counselling, information and referrals to resources throughout South Africa.


Cape Argus