Pretoria - The number of teenagers committing suicide in South Africa is very concerning and the public is urged to normalise talking about mental health.
Teen Suicide Prevention Week started yesterday and will end on February 21.
According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group, the average suicide rate in teenagers is 8% of all deaths that have been reported by academic hospitals in the country, and, they said, the real figure can only be higher.
It also said 20% of high school teenagers attempted suicide in the country. “Mental health education is crucial and factors contributing to teenagers ending their lives need to be looked at and we must all assist those who might be going through the same problem,” said the organisation.
Factors identified as contributing to suicides among young people include depression. Other mental illnesses are conduct disorder; alcohol and drug abuse, bullying, extreme anxiety, agitation or enraged behaviour, history of physical illness and the availability of firearms at home.
“In 75% of all suicides, the person gave some warning or made their intention known to a loved one.”
The group also reported that in South Africa the most employed method of suicide was hanging, followed by shooting, gassing, and burning, with 60% of people committing suicide being those who were depressed.
Statistics have shown that suicide is the second most common cause of death in people aged 15 to 29, but some children as young as 6 have been deemed suicidal.