According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), over 700 000 people die by suicide globally each year. And for every one suicide, there are an estimated 20 suicide attempts with many more having serious thoughts of suicide. South African men are four times more likely to die by suicide than women, and the most at-risk age group in the country is adolescents.
Over the last few months, we’ve seen headlines of death by suicide of young teenagers, popular celebrities, students, fathers, sons, best friends and grandchildren. Zamo Mbele, Clinical Psychologist and SADAG Board Deputy Chairperson says, “Suicide does not discriminate, it affects all ages, races, genders and socio-economic backgrounds. Suicide is happening within our families, affecting campuses and schools, and impacting communities across the country. Even one suicide, is one too many.”
For World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September) today, SADAG is encouraging people to have #BraveConversations to create more safe spaces to talk about Suicide Prevention. Talking about Suicide Prevention can literally save a life and that could be your child, partner, colleague, friend or brother. Talking about suicide is prevention. There’s still a lot of stigma and fear around Suicide making people afraid if they talk about Suicide, it could “plant the seed” or cause someone to take their own life.
By normalising conversations around Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, we make it more comfortable to talk about these important issues at home, around the dinner table, at work, or to friends.