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Sadag: Depression is still the leading cause of suicide in SA

Tuesday was World Suicide Prevention Day and Sadag said from January this year, it had received almost 42,000 calls on its suicide helpline.

Picture: Freeimages.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) said the number of calls it received from people wanting to commit suicide showed that it is a real challenge in South Africa.

Tuesday was World Suicide Prevention Day and Sadag said from January this year, it had received almost 42,000 calls on its suicide helpline.

The non-profit organisation said between January and August this year, it received 41,800 calls on the suicide helpline, 1,300 emails, SMSes and WhatsApps. Sadag said the youngest suicide case in the country was by a six-year-old.

Sadag’s operations director Cathy Chambers said despite these shocking statistics, South Africans still considered suicide as a distant challenge that did not affect them.

“There are so many people who are feeling so overwhelmed by their problems that they think that suicide is the only solution. For us, we are trying to raise awareness that suicide is a real issue in South Africa,” Chambers said.

She said depression was still the leading cause of suicide in South Africa.

“Undiagnosed or untreated depression can lead to suicide and it’s something that should be taken seriously. It’s real illness just like diabetes, hypertension or cancer [and] it needs real treatment,” she said.

Chambers said statistics showed that the need for awareness around suicide was increasing, but the resources in areas in need were not.

If this article has raised issues for you or if you’re concerned about someone you know, call the South African Depression and Anxiety Group’s Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567.

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