Sadag calls on youth dealing with anxiety, depression to reach out

The COVID-19 lockdown has had a severe impact on learners and tertiary students this year and many are still playing catch up to ensure they pass.

Picture: 123rf

CAPE TOWN - The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) on Monday called on young people who might be battling emotionally to make use of the resources available - before it's too late.

While some organisations said they'd noted an uptick in depression, anxiety and suicides during exams, Sadag said call volumes had remained high, consistently throughout 2020.

The COVID-19 lockdown has had a severe impact on learners and tertiary students this year and many are still playing catch up to ensure they pass.

Sadag's Cassey Chambers said call volumes had doubled since the lockdown but said there hadn’t been a surge since the start of the exams.

“During this time when we know that there has perhaps been an increase in stress and anxiety – all eyes are focussed on students and teens who are writing exams. It’s also been an incredibly difficult year for adjustments and change and we have to be so much more mindful to connect with teenagers and check in.”

The group said it was important to note a range of factors were at play when it came to suicides - and stressed learners must be made aware of resources that were available.

“You could do counselling at school, with a psychologist, with a house doctor or a psychiatrist – and if you’re not sure where you can go you can pick up the phone to Sadag, to the suicide crisis helpline, which is available 24 hours’ a day, seven days a week on 0800 567 567.”

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