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Literacy is a luxury that many of us take for granted. That is why SADAG created SPEAKING BOOKS and revolutionized the way healthcare information is delivered to low literacy communities.

The customizable 16-page book, read by local celebrity audio recordings, ensures that vital health and social messages can be seen, heard, read and understood by everyone across the world.

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Suicide alert for Toti

Six reported cases and seven attempts in six months
A MANZIMTOTI Trauma Unit (ATU) is alarmed at the high number of attempted and successful suicides in the community in the past six months.
In the last week alone, there were three cases of attempted suicide and one successful suicide. However statistics for the last six months reveal six reported cases of suicide and seven attempted suicides.
These statistics are only based on cases the ATU is aware of, because in some cases attempted suicides are not reported.
According to ATU?s Jane Layer, few people will attempt suicide without showing a change in behaviour for at least two weeks. ?Unfortunately if one doesn?t know what the signs and signals are, it could be written off as ?he?s just a typical teenager? or ?don?t take any notice of him, he?s just a grumpy old man? or ?she?s suffering from PMS or going through menopause?.
According to Jane, individuals could behave in this manner because of depression. Depression is considered to be the leading cause of suicidal thoughts and eventually suicidal tendencies. But there are other factors such as personality disorders and drug and alcohol abuse. Therefore it is important to seek medical help for the correct ? diagnosis to ensure the correct, relevant help.?
Signs and symptoms of depression
ACCORDIT~.. f. Amanzlmtoli Trauma Unit?s (ATU) Jane Layer all these signs should be taken seriously, as 75% of all suicide cases give some prior warning of their intentions to friends or family members.
* One in four women will suffer depression at some stage of their life and about one in eight men.
Some people express depression in other ways by becoming joyless and irritable. This is particularly common among adolescents and the elderly.
People who don?t feel comfortable expressing sadness, especially men, who may channel their feelings of despair into anger and self-destructive behaviour.
Although depression can appear to come ?out of The main feature of depression is a drastic change in mood to a feeling of sadness that is so heavy and oppressive, It is hard to describe.
Signs to look out for: * Change in sleeping patterns, too much or too little sleep; * Constantly feeling tired, lack of energy, cantt be bothered; the blue?, it normally occurs after a stressful event. ?Losing one?s job, death, divorce and other stress-related factors. The stress of such events can cause one to become anxious and unproductive. One will begin to feel they are a failure and cannot see a solution to their problems. As depression ~sets in, sleep patterns change as does one?s appetite.? Of concern to ATU is * Feelings of anxiety; * Irritability; * Withdrawal from others; * Reduced or Increased appetite, notable weight change; * Negative or depressive thought patterns; * Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness; * Talking about suicide. many people who feel this way do not go in search of medical help.
?This is a great pity as if left untreated, one will slip deeper into what other sufferers have described as a black fog?.? said Jane.
She said if depression is diagnosed by a medical professional it can be easily treated. ?What one must understand is the sufferer cannot help how they feel and the last thing they need to hear from friends or family is ?oh come on now, snap out of it?
For more information or help contact the ATU on 082-456-8743; Toti SAPS on 031-913-1308; Suicide Crisis Line 0800-567-56; Lifeline 031-312- 2323 or www.depnet.co.za (depression community website with information resources) or the South African Depression and Anxiety Group at www.sadag.co.za ATU thanks all who assist the organisation in its daily tasks, including the CCPO and SAPS.

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