SADAG offers help, support online to prevent suicides

According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), in South Africa there are 23 suicides each day and hundreds of suicide attempts every 24 hours.

Operations director Cassey Chambers said about 75 per cent of people who attempt suicide give some kind of warning of their intention to a friend or family member.

“They often describe how they look for a sign that someone cares and that the world is not blind to their pain.

“Meanwhile, some explain how they made a pact with themselves – that if anyone were to reach out to them they would confide in them.

“We’d like all South Africans to know that they can make a difference in someone else’s life simply by taking a minute to check in with them. You don’t have to be a mental health professional to reach out to people who may be thinking about suicide.

“Helpers should encouraging a person who may be thinking of taking his or her life to share what is going on inside. They should truly listen with compassion because genuine concern can be incredibly helpful to those who’ve lost hope.”

  • Help online

To help raise awareness around suicide prevention, this year Sadag will be sharing videos online of local celebrities who are taking a minute to reach out and send messages of hope.

Sadag is also hosting Facebook Q&A chats on September 15 about surviving an attempted suicide and for those who have lost a loved one.

You can ask clinical psychologists questions for free from wherever you are between 1pm and 2pm and 7pm and 8pm.

Go to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group Facebook page at these times and look out for the post that opens each chat, click ‘comment’, and ask your question.

For more details, call Sadag or visit www.sadag.org.

If you or a loved one are seeking help, call 0800 567 567 or send an SMS to 31393 and a SADAG counsellor will call you back (any time of the day, any day of the year).

Sadag provides free telephonic counselling, information, and nationwide referrals to support groups, psychologists, psychiatrists, clinics, and more. Online resources such as brochures, articles, self-help tips and videos can be found at www.sadag.org.

  AUTHOR
Ntombikayise Sibeko
Journalist

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