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Silence is a deadly killer – Chideka

PALAPYE: Reports by the World Health Organisation (WHO) reveal that at least 3,000 people world wide take their own lives daily something that has become an international crisis.

Speaking during the Palapye District Health Management Team (DHMT) Suicide Prevention Day recently, Dr Kefilwe Chideka said silence is the first deadly symptom shown by suicide victims and if spotted early it can prevent suicide. She said often suicide victims would have given some clues before taking their own lives only that people are too ignorant to spot such signs.

Chideka added: “Someone who is thinking about suicide will usually give some clues or signs to those around them that shows they are troubled and silence as well as isolation are stronger indicators that one is contemplating suicide. Therefore suicide prevention starts with recognising these warning signs and treating them seriously”.

She said many people take those signs lightly and at times make fun out of it, more especially when one utters words such as ‘ke bata go ipolaya’ (I want to kill myself). People take it for a joke, yet it is a serious indicator that one wants to commit suicide. Furthermore the doctor said what one can do is to take time and ask the victims what is wrong with them because usually those signs are a cry for help. Additionally, she said they should be supported instead of being taken lightly.

Chideka said afterwards they should be referred to the rightful people such as psychologists who can treat the condition better. “After talking to the victims, do not stop there because usually they need better trained people to deal with the condition since it is mental and usually caused

by stress, leading to depression,” she said.

When giving the statistics of suicide victims in Palapye, detective sergeant Ditshweu Tlhabano said suicide is one of the most common crimes in the area, which is usually by hanging. Tlhabano observed that in most cases suicide happens after passion killings.

He said in 2015 they recorded a total of eight suicides which involved six males and two females.

“Amongst those six men, two were juveniles with the youngest being 10-years-old. He hanged himself after being scolded for bad behaviour by his parents.

In 2016 we recorded a total number of four suicide by hanging; three men and one woman while this year we have already recorded four cases and judging by the fact that the year has not ended yet it is a big number,” he said.

He added that this also affects them as the police because it is not a pleasant scene to take someone dead off a tree. Moreover, he said relatives of the victims do not find closure as sometimes they are forced to bury the victims without their presence since the body would be badly decomposed. A victim who preferred anonymity revealed that she failed countless times to commit suicide.

“I went as far as hanging myself. Luckily, the rope loosened before I died and that was when I knew I needed help. But what I can warn people about is that isolation is the most dangerous sign and should be the first step in seeking help,” she said.





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