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Suicide on the Rise in South Africa

Suicide on the Rise in South Africa

by Kevin Caruso

A research project at the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine in South Africa indicates that suicide is on the rise in the country and that children as young as 10 are dying by suicide.

"Our youth are increasingly attempting or committing suicide as a result of depression," said Michelle de Sousa, Project Manager of the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG).

SADAG sends a group of speakers to schools throughout the country who instruct both students and teachers about the symptoms and treatment of depression.

"This year already the group has given talks to 94 schools and have talked to over 423,000 children," said Sousa.

"The work we do is to help teens understand that depression is an illness, not a weakness, and that treatment is accessible free and confidential," said Zane Wilson, the founder of the group.

A new toll-free suicide hotline is constantly receiving calls, and many are from young people.

"The mere fact that so many young people make the commitment to reaching out [by calling the toll-free suicide hotline], to asking for help, is a positive indication," said Wilson. "Only now are we beginning to take notice. We need to talk to our children about it and we are, grudgingly, acknowledging that sweeping it under the carpet is the worst thing to do. Unless we as a total society fact the harsh reality that it could happen to my child, we well be doomed to repeat mistakes of the past."

The toll-free suicide hotline in South Africa is 0800-567-567.

If you or someone you know is suicidal, please go to the Home Page of this website for immediate help.

Thank you.

I love you.

Take care,

Kevin Caruso

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