Suicide Prevention Day

2018-09-18 06:01

WITH the purpose of raising awareness that suicide can be prevented, the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), together with their co-sponsor the World Health Organisation (WHO), marked September 10 as World Suicide Prevention Day.

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) is a big advocate of spreading the message that suicide can be a fatal consequence of depression.

SADAG believes that anyone who notices someone who is showing the warning signs should not ignore the situation, and that they should reassure that person they are cared for and there is help available.

According to SADAG, some of the feelings experienced by those with suicidal thoughts include feeling that they are unable to think clearly or make decisions, feeling like they cannot make sadness go away, feeling like they cannot see a future without pain, feeling like they have no control, and feeling that they are worthless. These feelings often lead to the inability to eat, sleep or work. People in these situations often feel hopeless and helpless.

According to Nokwanda Dlamini, a social worker at a Trauma Unit, in her line of work she sees more suicide attempts being made by teenagers. She also noticed a recent spike in teenagers coming in for help.

Dlamini claimed that these teenagers are not affected by exam or school stress but by rather by other factors in their personal lives.

Dlamini urged those suffering in silence to contact the unit if they need help, or alternatively, to confide in or speak to someone they trust before acting upon potentially fatal decisions.

“They need to believe that things will get better,” said Dlamini.

SADAG believes that everyone can help prevent suicide by eliminating myths about suicide; identifying people with risk factors for suicide; learning the warning signs of possible suicide; intervening early if there is a suspicion of suicide; and following through to make sure that people with suicidal ideas or plans have received the help they need.

STEPS TO TAKE IF YOU SUSPECT SOMEONE YOU KNOW MAY BE SUICIDAL

- Be aware of the behaviours that concern them; note how long the behaviours have been going on, and how often and how severe they seem.

- Send them to a mental health professional or the child’s doctor for evaluation and diagnosis.

- Get accurate information from libraries, hotlines and other sources.

- Ask questions about treatments and services in your community.

- Talk to other families in your community.

- Give them the South African Depression and Anxiety Group Help Line number so that they can get help. The number is 011 783 1474.

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