In February, Mary Gangile began to notice her son was not himself but Mary says she just thought Lele, a naturally quiet teen with a passion for music, was going through a rough patch.
Lots of pain
Days later, Mary would discover it was much more after a sweat-drenched and vomiting Lele called neighbours for help after attempting to take his own life.
”When Lele came to ask for help, we called the ambulance and waited with him,” said neighbour Buyisiwe Msibi. “He was in lots of pain, and we didn’t know what to do with him.”
Read: Suicide warning signs
“We didn't know whether to give him water or milk so we just waited for a long time for the ambulance to come,” she said.
When the ambulance arrived three hours later, Lele was already dead.
According to South African Anxiety and Depression Group Operations Director Cassey Chambers, a range of issues including family and relationship issues as well as undiagnosed depression can lead teens to contemplate suicide.
“Parents should also look out for signs such as changes in sleeping habits like sleeping too much or not enough,” Chambers cautioned. She added that teens suffering from depression might also show less interest in activities that they used to enjoy.
More ambulances on the road
Lele’s friend Jabulani Nkosi had taken his own life just days before Lele died.
According to Gauteng Department of Health Spokesperson Steve Mabona, 11 ambulances station at Orange Farm’ Imbalenhle Clinic and fire station service the area.
In the last 10 months, 90 percent of emergency calls in the area were answered within 15 minutes, according to Mabona.
Provincially, Gauteng has increased the number of ambulances on its roads by almost a third in the last year. According to Mabona, the province now has 520 ambulances and an additional 42 ambulances catering solely for women about to deliver.
However like most provinces, Gauteng is still far short of national targets that require one ambulance for every 10,000 people. To meet this target, Gauteng would have to procure almost an additional 700 ambulances, according to population estimates from the latest census. – Health-e News.