10 September marks World Suicide Prevention Day.
In South Africa there are 23 suicides a day recorded and 230 serious attempts.
If you or somebody you know experiences or displays the following symptoms, it is important to reach out for help:
- Withdrawing from social contact and wanting to be left alone
- Talking about suicide — for example, making statements such as “I wish I weren’t here anymore” or “Things would be better if I wasn’t here anymore.”
- Having mood swings, such as being emotionally high one day and deeply discouraged the next
- Being preoccupied with death, dying or violence
- Feeling trapped or hopeless about a situation
- Getting the means to take your own life, such as sourcing weapons or pills
- Changing normal routine, including eating or sleeping patterns
- Doing risky or self-destructive things, such as drinking, using drugs or driving recklessly
- Giving away belongings or getting affairs in order when there’s no other logical explanation for doing this
- Saying goodbye to people as if they won’t be seen again
- Developing personality changes or being severely anxious or agitated, particularly when experiencing some of the warning signs listed above
Warning signs aren’t always obvious, and they may vary from person to person. Some people make their intentions clear, while others keep suicidal thoughts and feelings secret.
Looking out for a friend or loved one is an important part of preventing suicide. Just reaching out and asking someone if they are doing okay could make all of the difference.
You can come into the BSU at any time to talk to one of our psychologists who are here to support and guide you.
The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) have trained counsellors ready to support night and day. You can call SADAG to talk on behalf of a loved one, colleague, or friend. Trained counsellors are there to help and refer you to local counsellors, facilities and support groups.
0800 21 22 23 (8am to 8pm)
0800 12 13 14 (8pm to 8am)
Or SMS 31393