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WHO: One person still dies every 40 seconds from suicide

Thirty-eight countries have strategies in place to combat suicide, but the WHO deems this insufficient.

Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - The number of countries with national suicide prevention strategies have increased, but there are still far too few with strategies in place, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“Despite progress, one person still dies every 40 seconds from suicide,” said WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Thirty-eight countries have strategies in place to combat suicide, but the WHO deems this insufficient.

“Every death is a tragedy for family, friends and colleagues. Yet suicides are preventable. We call on all countries to incorporate proven suicide prevention strategies into national health and education programmes in a sustainable way,” he continued.

A video that had been widely circulated on local social media, has thrust mental health into the spotlight again.

The video shows a man, purportedly before he committed suicide.

He is heard singing before he bids farewell.

“So long. Today is my last day in Joburg and what I’ve decided to do is pack, can u guys see? So, I’ve decided to pack up and leave. I’m leaving for Mars.”

The next part of the video showed the city lights from the top of a building.

There has been no official confirmation of the man’s identity, but dozens of Twitter users claim they knew him, and that his name is Nkokeli Tyabashe.

Their messages of grief were accompanied by the hashtag #RestInPeaceNkocain, which trended on Twitter for on Friday.

According to The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) it had received almost 42,000 calls on its suicide helpline from January this year.

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.