Parents should look out for depression signs
PARENTS and teachers should look out for signs of depression among young people as the matric results are being released.
Janine Shamos, a teacher who is spokeswoman for the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag), said publishing matric results in newspapers did not lead to suicide.
According to Sadag 9.5% of all teenage deaths every year are suicides.
"Each year we hear stories of how people have killed themselves because there was a mistake in the paper," Shamos said.
"The most important thing is that parents and children should ascertain their results from their schools."
Shamos said attention had to be paid to candidates who had problems.
"People who kill themselves usually have (underlying) problems such as a death or an illness in the family," Shamos explained.
She said it was important that teenagers be told that there were options such as supplementary examinations and rewriting.
"We put too much pressure on matric pupils and, at the end of the day, it is just an exam," Shamos said.
She said the danger signs to look out for include times when teenagers are acting out of character, including when:
- They do not wish to be with friends;
- They throw tantrums; and
- They get drunk.
Shamos said during such times parents, friends, relatives and teachers needed to "talk to them and show them that the situation is not hopeless, and that talking can be the difference between life and death".
For more information or assistance, Sadag can be contacted on (011) 262-6396, (080) 056-7567 or SMS 31393. They are open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm. Also visit www.sadag.co.za