Monday, February 10, 2014

Health - This week marks Teen Suicide Prevention week

On Sakhisizwe today, we spoke to Naazia Ismail - Spokesperson for the SA Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) about detecting depression which is an early warning sign for suicide. This week marks Teen Suicide Prevention week and it is reported that suicide is the fastest growing, and second leading, cause of death in the 15 to 24 age group as almost 1 in 10 teen deaths in South Africa are due to suicide. According to the recent National Youth Risk Survey, an alarming number of high school teens were depressed and suicidal with over 20% having considered suicide in one month. Children as young as 7 years old have also committed suicide in South Africa but despite its prevalence, teen suicide is still shrouded in myth and misconception. Naazia explained more about the warning signs and what action to take if one identifies those signs. If your teen has become withdrawn and socially isolated, his/her school performance and participation in sports has declined, he/she is neglecting their appearance, and has started giving possessions away, there could be a cause for concern and it is advisable to get the help of a trained mental health professional as soon as possible. SADAG is open 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm on 0800 567 567 or SMS 31393. Alternatively you can contact SADAG on (011) 262 6396 or visit www.sadag.co.za for more information or go to their Facebook page to ask your questions to the panel of psychologists, psychiatrist and counsellors.

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