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(South Africa) "A large proportion of teenagers" have mental/emotional problems

Oct 9, 2018, Johannesburg Citizen: Twenty percent of high school pupils ‘have attempted suicide’ A large proportion of our teenagers are suffering from mental and emotional health problems, according to the Psychiatry Management Group. Almost one in 10 teenage deaths in South Africa every year are the result of suicide, the Psychiatry Management Group (PsychMG) said today. According to PsychMG, about 20 percent of high school pupils have tried to take their own lives. With teenagers and young adults the focus of World Mental Health Day on October 10, PsychMG chairperson, Dr Sebolelo Seape, said the prevention of teen suicides starts with better understanding of the symptoms of depression. … PsychMG said many of these tragedies could be averted by paying attention to warning signals and risk factors, building emotional resilience, and taking suicide threats seriously. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), depression was globally the third-highest disease burden amongst adolescents, and suicide the second leading cause of death in 15- to 29-year-olds, while the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) states that nine percent of teenage deaths in the country were due to suicide. … “This suggests a large proportion of teenagers are suffering from mental and emotional health problems. The youth are the future of our country and we need to act to prevent the devastating consequences of them losing their hope for the future,” Seape said. … Seape said the causes of depression and related mental illnesses in teenagers and young adults were multi-faceted “There is the stressful nature of the teenage years – for some teenagers, the normal developmental changes of these years, such as bodily changes, new patterns of thoughts and feelings, can be unsettling and overwhelming. There are social changes too, like changing schools, the pressure of final exams, the prospect of leaving home to start tertiary studies or a job; as well as other stress factors such as family issues, changes in their friend networks, and the pressure to succeed,” she said. …


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