The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) confirmed suicide attempts by youngsters usually spiked around this time of the year because of the hype over the release of matric results.
Sadag spokesperson, Dessy Tsoneva, said: “It’s important to be aware at all times, as teens’ mental health, circumstances and other stressors will play a role on how they process their results.”
Parents or guardians have a major role to play to prevent the worst from happening in the aftermath of disappointing matric results for some, according to Fathima Razack, head of programme at the commerce faculty of The Independent Institute of Education.
The Durban-based expert urged adults to manage their response to results as suicide attempts by teens peaked at such times and pupils needed help to view the future with optimism.
“Although parents and guardians may feel deeply disappointed, they should know their first words and reactions
may have a lasting impact,” she said.
“While it may feel like an ‘end-of-the-world’ moment, clear heads and a pragmatic approach are needed to make the right decisions to move forward,” she added.
Razack said there were several options for those who had failed but still wanted to secure a national senior certificate.
These included sitting for supplementary exams, returning to school or completing matric through distance learning or at another school.
She added: “Exam papers can also be sent for remarking or rechecking via schools or exam centres, at a fee.
“A remark entails assessment by another authorised person, while a recheck refers to an authorised person verifying whether all answers were marked and the marks tally to the total.”
“Parents and pupils should treat disappointing results as the necessary catalyst to propel one in a new, better direction with more resolve,” she said.