SA is eighth in world suicides

By Drum Digital
10 September 2014

South Africa has the eighth-highest suicide rate in the world, says the SA Federation for Mental Health.

South Africa has the eighth-highest suicide rate in the world, the SA Federation for Mental Health said on Wednesday. Spokeswoman Fatima Seedat said the country had approximately 8000 suicides a year. Around one million suicides were recorded each year globally.

"Based on this, suicide is the third greatest cause of unnatural death in the country," Seedat said in a statement.

Around 230 people tried to commit suicide daily, while 23 succeeded. Seedat's statement came as the world marked Suicide Prevention Day.

"In commemoration of this day, it is of vital importance to spread the message that suicide is preventable and that there is help available out there for people in need of support," she said.

Research showed that psycho-social factors such as untreated mental illness, substance abuse, family problems, trauma, rape, and poverty could contributing to suicidal feelings. According to studies around 70 percent of people who committed suicide showed warning signs.

"Some of the warning signs are; talking or thinking about death often, clinical depression, the loss of interest in things one used to care about, putting affairs in order, a sudden change in behaviour, unexpected switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy, visiting or calling people to say goodbye, and giving away possessions," Seedat said.

People with signs of depression needed to be reminded that there was help available.

The World Health Organisation found that despite the high number of suicides across the globe, help for people thinking of committing suicide was not prioritised in the public health system.

-SAPA

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