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Suicide watch: the layers of despair to SA’s crisis


Suicide watch: the layers of despair to SA’s crisis

World Suicide Prevention Day on Tuesday puts the spotlight on SA's fragmented society

Melody Emmett

According to the international expert on suicide and author of Suicidal Behaviour in SA, Prof Lourens Schlebusch, in 2000 a World Health Organisation study found that about 1 million people committed suicide every year and up to 40 times more attempted suicide. It was predicted that by 2020 the figure would increase to 1.5 million.

The world appears to be on course to fulfil the prophecy.

Four times more men than women take their lives, and the average age is getting lower: people aged 15-29 are at high risk. Suicide is no respecter of race, culture, religion, socioeconomic status or professional standing in the SA context. Causes are multiple and multifaceted: from witnessing or experiencing violence, to increased mental health disorders, relationship issues, socioeconomic challenges and substance abuse...

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