The recent tragedy, which befell the tiny village of Malolwane is a wake up call for communities to come together and address the disturbing issue of suicide.
Malolwane community was left in shock after loosing two promising teenage boys to these senseless deaths. While there are suspicions that cultism might have led to the tragic suicides, the police are still hard at work to determine what could have led the two teenagers, who reportedly were close friends to take such devastating decisions. Suicide is considered a serious, but preventable public health problem. It is high time we as a society engage to come up with effective suicide prevention strategies. Suicide is one of the major challenges we face in our society, as evidenced by the events of last week in Malolwane village.
This time around, it is more puzzling and painful because the victims of the recent suicides were just 13-year-olds, youngsters who still had their futures ahead of them.
It is time for our health system to start vigorous awareness campaigns of suicide, with the aim of promoting prevention, resilience, and a commitment to social change.
It is believed that 90% of people who commit suicide have a mental illness at the time of their death. Depression has
Our community for some reason seems to take mental illnesses lightly, and we somehow are skeptical about seeking help with relatio n to mental health.
Many locals still place stigma around the issue of seeking counselling from professionals. There is great need for a rigorous education programme surrounding the issue of suicide and education on mental illness.
There are several risk factors aside from mental illnesses, which include being exposed to suicidal behaviour, and being socially isolated or a victim of bullying amongst others.
Most people who end up committing suicide show signs which include, but are not limited to avoiding social interactions with others, expressing rage or intentions to seek revenge, oversleeping or not at all and showing signs of anxiety or agitation.
With proper education many lives will be saved because family members will be able to not only help counsel someone with suicidal thoughts, but also encourage the individual to seek professional help.