Choose Life!

This past week was SUICIDE PREVENTION WEEK from the 11th to the 19th of February.

An Alarming Rate of Suicides in South Africa

According to global stats South Africa, along with other countries in Africa are ranked in the top ten for the countries who have the highest number of suicides in the world. Lesotho being the highest worldwide and other countries such as  Eswatini, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique, Central African Republic, Botswana, Eritrea, Cameroon, and Côte d’Ivoire. All have rates above 15 per 100,000 population, with peaks of 87.5 and 40.5 per 100,000 population respectively for Lesotho and Eswatini.

The age group most at risk are under 35, specifically female suicides which peak between 15 to 19 years. There is an alarming increase in suicide rates among children aged 10 to 14. In South Africa the youngest suicide committed was by a six year old boy in at a school in Limpopo. We know that God wants us to CHOOSE LIFE as  Jesus said I have come that you might have LIFE and have it in abundance. John 10:10.

Alive to Thrive

This has fueled our passion to run the Alive to Thrive Series for the past four years which is a biblical and clinical training to equip anyone willing to learn about the risk factors and mental health issues leading to suicide. It also involves breakthrough testimonies , plus live interactive dialogue. Through this national live online workshop we have been able to train over 200 people thus far. This includes many leaders and those who work with youth who thereafter use the tools gained to train their youth and staff.  The amount of lives saved through this content is numerous not to mention the amount of young suicidal people that come through our doors for counselling.

We are now up to 23 suicides a day in our country and one life lost is far too many.  We know that Jesus would leave the ninety-nine in search of the ONE (Luke 15, 4-5). It is often said that DISTRUST is presently our society’s default emotion meaning that young people are less likely to reach out for help despite services and people who care being available for them.  This makes it even more challenging combined with the use of technology which is bombarding them. The good news is that help is available, and these conditions can be managed with the proper combination of medical and psychological care and spiritual support.  Healing is Multifaceted.

What Can We Do?

We can all be aware of those around us who are exhibiting hopelessness.  Hopelessness is linked to depression and suicide. When people start to say things such as “ I am a burden”  or “I have no purpose” or “ I don’t want to be here anymore” this is cause for concern. We need to create a culture where there is an openness to communicate, where it is okay to say “I’m not coping well.” “ I need help”. It’s also time we reach out to this generation and help them find a way forward.

Contact us at Focus on the Family Africa on 031 716 3300 to speak to a counsellor.

 

© 2024 A Nagoor.