The month of September is dedicated to spreading awareness on the unspoken topic of suicide.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth from age 15 -29 years-old. There are many reasons why people experience suicidal thoughts which may include, undiagnosed depression, trauma, feelings of hopelessness and isolation. 

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), a non-profit mental health support and advocacy organisation, reports a link between the covid-19 pandemic and increased mental health issues. SADAG, runs a dedicated suicide line and says that before lockdown they received an average of 600 calls a day. The group is now taking over 2200 calls every day. SADAG explains that the spike in calls is because of the escalated feelings of trauma and depression amongst all ages, races and genders caused by the pandemic.

Below is a brief guideline on how to identify suicidal ideation in others and where to reach for help for those that might need it.

FEATURED IMAGE: A student feeling overwhelmed and stressed with the stop the stigma on suicide slogan. Photo: Keamogetswe Mosepele