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Suicide is no joke. It’s the leading cause of death for young people under the age of 25.
First, if you think you may be suicidal or suspect that someone you know may be, call one of these numbers and get help!
The South African Depression and Anxiety Group “Suicide Toll-Free Line” 0800 567567 or (011) 783-1474
Johannesburg – (011) 484 1970
Cape Town – (021) 762 8198
Bloemfontein – (051) 430 3311
Durban – (031) 312 0904
Port Elizabeth – (041) 453 0441
Crisis Line – 0800 055 555
Lifeline  Johannesburg – (011) 953 4111

Are you thinking of committing suicide?

  • Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. The issue that you are dealing with right now may seem like the worst things that’s ever happened to you, but it helps to remember that it won’t last forever and that many people have managed to cope with situations just as tough. You can do it, you’re a Young Hero. You’re stronger than that.
  • Suicide hurts the people that you love and can have a terrible effect on the rest of their lives. Your friends and family will feel unimaginable pain and loss without you in the world. Even, if it seems like nobody cares right now, they will.
  • If you’re feeling suicidal, or even if you’re just feeling down, you should talk to someone that you trust about it. Your school or local clinic should be able to help you find someone to go for counselling with. Also, if you don’t like the counsellor, you can find another one that you prefer. You don’t have to go and see someone that you don’t feel comfortable with.
  • Being sad and upset sometimes is very normal, and everyone goes through it. It’s what helps you to become mature and can even help you to become a better person because difficult times can make us stronger, wiser and even kinder.
  • If you’ve been feeling suicidal for a long time, or you go through phases of being suicidal regularly and then feeling fine, you may need to see a doctor or another mental health specialist, because you may have a mood disorder or mental illness, which can be treated very successfully if you get help.

Do you think someone that you know is suicidal?

There are a few signs to look out for if you think someone you know is suicidal:

  • Have they started to behave differently? Maybe they are eating less or more than they usually do, or sleeping much less or much more. If they are acting quieter and withdrawn, that can be a sign that something’s not right.
  • Maybe they talk about wanting to hurt themselves or mention that life is not worth living anymore.
  • Sometimes people who are feeling suicidal start to give their stuff away or leaving clues that they may not be around for much longer.

What should you do?

  • Always take someone who says they are considering suicide seriously and even if you think the person is being dramatic or won’t really do it. Speak to someone you trust or call one of the numbers listed above to find out what you should do. You can’t be sure, and you will feel terrible if they do commit suicide and you didn’t take them seriously.
  • If you suspect someone is suicidal, the most important thing that you can do is let them know that you care.
  • Don’t be judgmental or critical or dare them to do it. If someone that you suspect is suicidal comes and chats to you, the best thing that you can do is just to listen.
  • Try not to argue with the person, tell them what to do or give them any advice. Sometimes all they need is for someone to listen.
  • Get help for yourself too. You shouldn’t keep this a secret. Talk to someone you trust about the situation.
  • Stay in touch and be supportive, even if the person seems to be feeling much better. Sadly, many people commit suicide when it seems that they are starting to feel better.