UCT lecturers, residence wardens to receive training on mental health issues

This comes amid concern over an apparent rise in suicides on campus.

FILE: UCT's Jameson Hall. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - The University of Cape Town (UCT) says lecturers and wardens at residences will be receiving training on dealing with mental health issues.

This comes amid concern over an apparent rise in suicides on campus.

There have been six unnatural deaths at the institution this year, three more than 2016.

UCT says that it cannot confirm whether the six unnatural deaths were suicides, as only the SAPS can do this.

A mental health task team was set up about a year ago, to look into the trends of student deaths and to better understand the profile of students who have died over the past five years.

The team has advised the institution to increase its preventive and responsive services.

This includes the setting up of a free 24/7 South African Depression and Anxiety Group hotline and two psychiatric nurses on duty every night for emergency calls at residences.

Lecturers and wardens at residences will also be receiving training on mental wellness.

Parliament's portfolio committee on Higher Education and Training says an investigation will need to be done into these incidents.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)