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Mental health education should start early in school, says Sadag

According to the World Health Organization, every 40 seconds a person commits suicide somewhere in the world.

Picture: Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - There are calls for an urgent suicide prevention strategy policy in the country to deal with the rising number of people reaching out for help while battling mental health issues.

On the eve of World Mental Health Day, the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag), whose resources are already stretched, said that in the last eight months its suicide helpline had received more than 46,000 calls from people on the verge of taking their own lives.

According to the World Health Organisation, every 40 seconds a person committed suicide somewhere in the world.

Sadag's Cassey Chambers said more resources are needed to respond to the crisis: “Mental health education should start early in school, we need to get our young people talking about it. We need to invest in NGOs who are already working on the ground and there are so many across our provinces and South Africa. We need to change the way we talk about mental health.”

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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