The depressed millennials & suicide in South Africa

South Africa has one of the highest youth suicide rates (eighth in the world according to the world health organisation) in the world and the great debaters have debated the causes and all the clinical manifestations of suicidal people. There is a lot that can be done to reduce or eradicate suicidal cases, but is enough being done? are there support groups for the unemployed and depressed youth as we know that unemployment among the youth in this country is very high. Before we can talk of psychologists and shrinks, It does not require a scientist to know that the causes of depression among the youth are unemployment, overactive lifestyles, lack of social activity and social exclusion. Before it can even reach the point of psychological intervention there is a lot that can be done prior to depression because the signs are there, everyone has people close to them that are not in a happy space and it’s everyone’s responsibility to reach out to them before it reaches the stage where they going to need a psychological help.

We should bear in mind that mellinnials do things a lot different from the old generation and it is hard for the parents to keep up and understand if their kids are being troubled or going through stressful situations. For most of them the thought of being an adult and taking care of their own future becomes too much to bear and they see suicide as a solution to their fear of growing up. Another factor has to do with parents’ high demands and putting too much pressure on their kids to perform be it at school or other social activities.

An engaging and caring parent will figure out eventually if his/her kid is going through some social difficulties and take appropriate measures to help them before it becomes too late. Parents should understand that it is very hard for teenagers and adolescent to come to terms with the overwhelming changes in their early lives and it is for this fact that parents should be as understanding as possible and be readily available to offer guidance. It used to be the Northern Cape in South Africa that had the highest rate of suicide among teenagers but the problem has extended to other provinces and it has become a national dilemma.

If you know of anyone close to you that has depression signs,leave a reply in the comment section below and lets share ideas and help one another fight this dilemma.We do not always need psychological help,but sharing as the youth is another way of helping one another.

Article by Mashilo Mothemane

Follow him on twitter @marcellomj

5 thoughts on “The depressed millennials & suicide in South Africa

  1. Great topic indeed and i must say lets nt refrigerate the fact that in most incidents our own youth make mistakes and end up doing that..for instance..students hu misuse parents money,being rekles in getin HIV..also lets not forget those hu cannot zeal with cheating..!! but what im asking myself is that arent we strong enough to face all these challenges as youth??

  2. To treat or manage any condition, a proper diagnosis is very vital. Its obvious that if we mis-diagnose we will definately mis-treat or mis-manage and that result in failure to root out the problem. And the other thing is knowing the aetiology, how the problem started and by what in particular, in that case we will deal with the cause and the problem at hand. Like u mentioned, un-emplyment is one of the causes of depression to teens or youth…..of which I see a never ending problem in regard to unemployment. Not that I hav thrown the towel but the song has been sang before, the government have even saved the lyrics in the archves and nothing has been done. The ANC led government who has been in power since 1994 has failed to address the issue of unemployment and they camouflaged that by giving the youth with kids some kind of social grants which its a “bribe” to me. If one teaches another one how to fish, the wouldn’t be any need to give that person a fish every day coz he will now be knowing how to fish. “Each one teach one” criteria didn’t make it outside Robbin Islands prison walls. One thing that our government has not noticed is that in da country one thing lead to the another, its a chain. Unemployment to depression to substance abuse then to crime. I know as youth we also have responsibility to our fellow youth but that is to a lesser extend. You can ask ur friend to come talk to you everytime he has a problem but what if he comes and say my problem is that I don’t work, your answer will be “sorry mfuwethu, I don’t know how to help u, I will try kodwa I don’t promise anything” and this statement in actual fact means you won’t, you can’t and you will not help him. Of which its true, you can’t give him any job while you still struggling to find a proper one yourself. Its a tough situation hence I’m saying we as youth can only help but to a shorter length.

  3. Spot on Nchilo,you said it like a real therapist. Us as youth as we can only do as much but the real solution lies with the leaders,if they are leaders for that matter because to me they are just business people who happen to be in power.

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