The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) has launched Teen Suicide Prevention Week, which took place on February 11 and will end on the 18th as part of its continued commitment to youth mental health advocacy.
This week is an important chance to bring communities, educators, parents, and students together to confront the grave issue of teen suicide, with a focus on building hope and providing individuals with necessary resources.
Cassey Chambers, Sadag’s operations director, highlights the essence of tackling these issues and normalise reaching out for help.
“Talking about hard topics like suicide helps to create open conversation, foster safe spaces for young people to talk openly about their struggles, and identify warning signs to get help. As parents, caregivers, teachers and communities, we need to talk more about the issues and normalise that it’s okay to reach out for help.’’
Dr Frans Korb, psychiatrist, psychologist and Sadag board member, remarked: “Teen Suicide Prevention Week is an invaluable opportunity to dismantle stigma, give empathy, and equip our communities with the resources they need to address this urgent issue.
“By encouraging open conversations, providing accessible support networks, and promoting early intervention, we can make significant strides in saving lives and safeguarding the well-being of our youth.”
The group also emphasises the critical need for having an open dialogue and taking action in the face of the pervasive stigma and fear surrounding talking about teen suicide.
The group aims to provide teachers, parents, and students with the knowledge and resources needed to recognise warning signs, strike up a conversation, and seek immediate assistance during Teen Suicide Prevention Week.
Sadag will be hosting various online LIVE video sessions across all social media platforms with guest experts tackling key issues.
“Join us on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter for expert Q&As on understanding teen depression, debunking myths, social media reporting and how to talk to teens about suicide.
“We will also be hosting a free LIVE webinar via Zoom on Thursday, 15th February. We encourage teens, friends, parents, teachers and caregivers to join the LIVES on Sadag’s social media pages for free to learn more,” said the group.
This will be done to assist people, parents, educators, carers, and organisations across the country in better understanding teen depression, warning signs of suicide, and what to do in a crisis.