Suicide Prevention Week focuses on male suicide

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The group cited studies which showed that 80 percent of those who committed suicide often gave some kind of warning, with psychologist, Diane Mallaby, adding that in men, especially, the risk of carrying out the threat was even higher because of the use of more violent means.

Professor Lourens Schlebusch added to this, saying that suicidal patients often struggle with depression and this mostly went undiagnosed, especially in men, as they are less likely to discuss their emotions or seek help for sadness.

“Generally, if a loved one’s unhappiness lasts for more than two weeks, there is a good possibility that they may be suffering from depression,” he said.

“Major life changes such as a death in the family, a relationship break-up or financial worries can bring on depression and because men are traditionally seen as the providers, they may find financial difficulties particularly devastating.”

He further stressed that all suicide threats should be taken seriously –even if the person was far from carrying out the attempt. He cautioned loved ones to watch out for certain signs which pose an immediate risk.

Such signs include the existence of a detailed plan, if there had been a suicide attempt before, and saying things such as ‘life is not worth living’. In such instances, drastic measures should be taken.

Some of the warning signs in men include withdrawal from friends and family, missing work and irritability and aggression, among others.

“[Also] saying things like ‘I’m a burden to my family’, feelings of hopelessness, increased smoking or drinking, as well as changes in usual eating and sleeping patterns, are all signs to look out for,” she said.

More signs include:

  •  A sudden lift in spirits
  •  Showing changes in personality.

Details: 0800 567 567; SMS 31393;

Share your thoughts on male suicide during Suicide Prevention Week on the Joburg North Local News WhatsApp group. To join the group and get live news updates sent straight to your phone, just send a WhatsApp message with your name and surname to 079 439 5345.

Khanyisile Ngcobo

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