Unsuccessful Class of 2015 should be supported

By Drum Digital
07 January 2016

By Ayanda Sithole

While thousands celebrated becoming successful matriculants yesterday, those who didn’t make it felt left out and might be depressed.

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health’s Head of Department Doctor Sifiso Mtshali has urged communities to support and not judge or criticise those who failed last year. And he has also encouraged communities to be more careful when they interact with these learners as this will help them identify signs of suicide or depression.

Dr Mtshali noted that South Africa has the eighth highest suicide rate in the world, according to the South African Federation for Mental Health, and he said these statistics cannot be ignored.

“History has shown us that some matriculants who don’t do well tend to struggle to cope with the results and end up taking their own lives. This is a desperate call for us as civil society, parents, friends, colleagues and Government to step in and reaffirm our Ubuntu values and commitment,” he said. And he said that every hospital in the province has a system of referral for those who need counselling and anyone needing assistance can get in touch with their nearest healthcare facility.

According to the South African Depression & Anxiety Group (Sadag), 8 % of all deaths are due to suicide, and suicide due to matric failure is regarded as a major contributor to the high rate of suicide among young people in SA. Up to 75 % of people who commit suicide give some warning, like suicidal threats that need to be taken seriously, so that the person can be helped before it’s too late.

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