Help for distressed matrics

2007-12-20 00:00

Matriculants will be happy to note that a 24/7 call-centre service has been made available to help allay the stresses of dealing with results, as the matric result D-Day, December 28, draws near.

From Monday, matriculants, parents and teachers can make use of the service, which has been provided by the Health Department, by calling their toll-free number.

Health Department spokesman Chris Maxon said the department is concerned with an increase in attempted and successful suicides by pupils, which is why they have dedicated psychologists to provide counselling services.

More than 10 psychologists have been confirmed for the project, he said.

“I think it is very important to point out that they will be volunteering their services,” Maxon said.

They will be available during office hours, which are between 8 am to 4 pm, every day.

However, the call centre is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, he said. Emergency numbers will be available should crisis situations arise, and house calls need to be made.

Maxon said they hope the Education Department will help sustain the project, even after the results.

The Education Department, in a statement, reminded matriculants that if their names do not appaear on the pass lists, they should check with their school principals, who will take the matter up with the provincial department.

It added that even pupils who fail have the options of attending a further education and training college, or repeating matric.

Linda Naidoo, director of Childline KZN, said many teens call their toll-free crisis line in the aftermath of the results.

Normally, they want to know how to tell their parents that they have done badly. “December seems to be anxiety month for matriculants, but other grades also make use of the service.”

She said their advice is to help children who think that they are in a dead-end situation see other options, like rewriting a failed subject, repeating a year or career options other than going to university.

Parents also call in and want to know how to support their children. Number to call: The Health Department’s counselling service on

0800 005 133

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