Nearly 75% of people who commit suicide tell someone first. The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) highlights Teen Suicide Prevention Week from the 18th – 26th February to raise awareness around teen depression and suicide prevention to help teens know that Suicide is not the only solution to a temporary problem.
So often parents, teachers, family members and friends don’t know how to help a teen who may be helpless, hopeless and depressed. “When it comes to suicide, speak to them first because they might not know that something is wrong or how to start the conversation. Do not wait for the warning signs, ask gently and listen carefully, before it is too late” says Clinical Psychologist Zamo Mbele.
There are a variety of reasons why a teen may feel like they want to end their life, it is normally a combination of issues such as family problems, relationships, problems at school, death of a loved one, trauma, etc.
SADAG is giving Teachers, Parents, Community Members and Friends the opportunity to get free online help to understand more about Teen Depression and prevent Suicide. Facebook Friday FREE Q&A with top experts will be live on Friday the 24th of February at 1pm-2pm with Psychologist and SADAG Board Member Zamo Mbele from Tara Hospital, and again at 7pm-8pm with Psychologist Candice Cowen from The CBT Group in Hurlingham, Sandton.
To join the chats, LIKE SADAG’s Facebook Page: The South African Depression and Anxiety Group or go to www.sadag.org. Facebook Users that would like to remain anonymous can send a private message and SADAG will ask on their behalf. For free telephonic counselling call 0800 567 567 or send an SMS to 31393 and a counsellor will call you back.
- Talking about death or ending their life – “I don’t want to be here anymore” or “everyone would be better off if I was dead”
- Writing Suicide notes or goodbye letters – this could also be posting goodbyes on social media platforms
- A suddenly deteriorating academic or sport performance
- Fixation on death – drawings, music, writing, etc.
- Volatile mood or a sudden change in personality
- Change in eating or sleeping habits
- Neglecting personal hygiene and appearance
- Giving away prized possessions
- Social isolation and always wanting to be by themselves
- Frequent absenteeism