Teen suicide: Why preemptive conversations are important

Suicide rates and suicide attempts are increasing among adolescents.

Clinical psychologist Zamo Mbele says suicide attempts are on the rise especially among children, preteens and 'tweens'.

Also read: How parents can support teens facing depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts

Mbele says that people often fail to recognise the red flags and warning signs for suicide.

He says suicide is partly fueled by the lack of social support, social connections and authentic intimacy in society.

Mbele explains that there's a difference between impulsive suicide attempts and circumstantial suicide attempts.

He adds that suicide among youth can be spurred by difficult circumstances or because of underlying psychological conditions, including ADHD and learning disorders.

Mbele says parents and caregivers should have preemptive conversations with their children and open the lines of communication.

He advises that cargeivers should ask if they suspect something is wrong with child, listen to the child's feelings, take necessary action and always follow up.

More than half of the adolescent population consider suicide at some point.

Zamo Mbele, Clinical psychologist and board member of SADAG

We live in a society where young people and adults are more likely to attempt suicide.

Zamo Mbele, Clinical psychologist and board member of SADAG

I think the youngest successful suicide in 2017 was six-years-old.

Zamo Mbele, Clinical psychologist and board member of SADAG

Always err on the side of caution. Rather do something than do nothing.

Zamo Mbele, Clinical psychologist and board member of SADAG

The thing with suicide is not only about what it takes away, but also what it leaves behind.

Zamo Mbele, Clinical psychologist and board member of SADAG

Several listeners phoned in to share their personal experiences and Mbele offered his insights on suicide.

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) Suicide Crisis Line is 0800 567 567 or 0800 12 13 14.

Take a listen to Zamo Mbele's expert advice:


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