File photo: Oupa Mokoena / African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - With World Suicide Prevention Day commemorated today, various mental health help lines and organisations have come forward to speak about the importance of counselling for people at risk of suicide.

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) noted that it receives more than 600 calls a day, with over 41800 in the past eight months.

“A significant number of people contemplating suicide experience anxiety, depression and hopelessness and may feel that there is no other option. Talking about or threatening suicide may be a desperate cry for help,” said Sadag operations director, Cassey Chambers.

“Although there is no single cause, one of the risks for suicide is social isolation, and there’s scientific evidence for reducing suicide risk by making sure we connect with one another. We we can all play a role through the power of connection by having real conversations about mental health in everyday moments,” she said.

Chambers said it was clear that the main contributing factors for suicidal feelings include relationship issues, financial problems and trauma. However, the overwhelming factor was undiagnosed and untreated depression.

LifeLine Western Cape counsellor, Glynis Depper, said: “It is important to always treat talk of suicide as a serious concern and assess the risk as loss, depression, family history, abuse and substance abuse are high risk factors."

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