World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is observed on September 10. File photo: Zanele Zulu/African News Agency (ANA)
World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is observed on September 10. File photo: Zanele Zulu/African News Agency (ANA)

Western Cape DSD observes World Suicide Prevention Day

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published Sep 10, 2021

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Cape Town – September 10 is known as World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) and Western Cape MEC of Social Development Sharna Fernandez said her department was observing the day to create awareness so that every person in society can play a role in suicide prevention.

WSPD is organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO). The event represents a global commitment to focus attention on suicide prevention.

Fernandez said this year’s theme is: Creating Hope Through Action – as a reminder that there is an alternative to suicide, and it aims to inspire confidence and light in all.

“The prolonged Covid-19 pandemic has increased feelings of despair, insecurity, and at times, hopelessness among our loved ones, colleagues and community members.

“Now more than ever, must we all express empathy, compassion and caring for those around us.

“Let us all go above and beyond, to ensure that everyone around us feels supported.

“If you are struggling emotionally, please do not hesitate to share your thoughts and feelings with people that you trust, so that you do not have to face what you are going through alone.

“If you or someone you know is feeling like all hope is lost, we are offering help and support,” she said.

Fernandez said that with the support from non-profit organisations (NPO) and volunteers, her department utilises various awareness programmes integrated with psycho-social interventions.

She said her department had also formed partnerships with various NPO partners, civil organisations and faith-based organisations to establish support groups in vulnerable communities for individuals and families in need of support.

The psycho-social support provided by the department includes debriefing, counselling, psychotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy.

If anyone requires any form of psycho-social support, the department can be contacted via its hotline 0800 220 250.

If you or anyone you know feels like speaking to someone, contact Lifeline on 0861 322 322 or The South African Depression and Anxiety Support Group on 0800 21 22 23 between 8am until 8pm or 0800 12 13 14 between 8pm and 8am. You can also send an SMS to 31393.

Alternatively, Childline can be contacted on 021 762 8198 or via email at [email protected]

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