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Youngest person to ever commit suicide in SA was a six-year-old - Sadag

Thursday marks World Mental Health Day and this year, the World Health Organisation is focusing on suicide prevention.

FILE: Sadag said facilities such as the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital are seeing an influx of young people in emergency rooms. Picture: pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - As Thursday marks World Mental Health Day, there are concerns that more than ever, young people in South Africa are battling with suicidal thoughts.

This year, the World Health Organisation is focusing on suicide prevention and in this country, at least 600 desperate people turn to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) for help every day.

Sadag said the youngest person to commit suicide in the country was a six-year-old boy who hanged himself in a school bathroom in 2017 in Limpopo.

"I need help, I want to commit suicide. I'm officially on the streets as of today. House sold, depressed, alone, suicidal, No way out of this," One person said.

Another added: "I'm about to commit suicide. Don't know what to do. After school, I'm going straight home to eat poison."

These messages provided by Sadag’s Cassey Chambers, are just a few of what the depression and anxiety group dealt with on its suicide helpline, this week alone.

As she further explained, facilities such as the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital are seeing an influx of young people in emergency rooms.

“With young people who use Ratex that you can buy on any street corner for less than R10, and it's incredibly difficult to help someone who has taken too much Ratex," she said.

Meanwhile, parenting expert Nikki Bush said it was important that children are given the space to express their feelings.

“Find people for your children to speak to. The person you've chosen as a guardian or a godfather or a godmother for your child, may not be the person they actually relate to and respond to. We need to be awake and observe our children and see who they actually connect with in life," Bush said.

According to the World Health Organisation, around 800, 000 people die every year from suicide.

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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