World Suicide Prevention Day observed

2018-09-21 06:00

SEPTEMBER 10 was World Suicide Prevention Day and organisations all over the world did their bit to raise awareness about the phenomenon.

The recent suicides of beloved figures Professor Bongani Mayosi, American fashion designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain have left the world stunned by the effects of suicide and depression.

All of these public figures were hugely successful and surrounded by family, friends, and admirers. This reminds us of how prevalent depression and suicides are all over the world.

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) are inundated with calls and have had to increase the number of counsellors on shift to manage the influx of callers.

SADAG aims to raise awareness about the warning signs of suicide, provide free online Facebook experts, as well as provide those that have lost a loved one to suicide with a place to share, connect and get help. Suicide can devastate entire families and communities.

“We need to get people help before it is too late,” said the organisation’s operations manager Cassey Chambers.

She said SADAG received calls everyday from youth who are sad, depressed, had been raped or bullied, or adults who have lost their jobs, people who are recently divorced or struggling with financial issues, and callers who are not able to afford health treatment or are suffering from the loss of a loved one.

SADAG are here to help.

“In South Africa, one in three people will or do have a mental illness at some point in their lifetime. There are 23 completed suicides in South Africa every day and a further 460 attempted suicides every 24 hours.

“A total of 75% of the people who commit suicide tell someone first. Parents, teachers, community leaders, family members, friends or partners — everyone needs to learn how to identify depression and the warning signs of suicide and how to get help.

“People can also start support groups. If you think you have the right attitude and commitment to start a Support Group, please e-mail supportgroups@anxiety.org.za for more information and our manual, or call Michelle­ on 0800 21 22 23.

For free telephonic counselling call SADAG on 0800 567 567, seven days a week, 8 am to 8 pm, or visit www.sadag.org for more information, self-help tips, online videos as well as local and international articles on various Mental Health issues.

Help SADAG to continue helping hundreds of people who call the Suicide Helpline every day by donating to them.

SADAG runs the only National Suicide Crisis Helpline in South Africa.

“We receive calls everyday from people who feel helpless, hopeless and need urgent crisis intervention and emergency assistance. We need funds to finance these calls, to get people to hospitals, call ambulances, talk to families, advise hospitals of who is on the way, whatever it takes, we prevent the final step. Let’s make every day #WorldSuicideAwarenessDay,” said Chambers.

— Supplied.

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