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KZN Department of health to help prevent learner suicide

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					                                  CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
                                        Natalia, 330 Langalibalele Street, Pietermaritzburg, 3201
                                                     Private Bag X 9051, Pietermaritzburg, 3200
                                                         Tel.: 033- 395 3130, Fax.:033 342 0429
                                                          Email: chris.maxon@kznhealth.gov.za
                                                                           www.kznhealth.gov.za




TO: ALL MEDIA
DATE: 20 DECEMBER 2007
EMBARGO: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA RELEASE: KZN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TO HELP PREVENT
LEARNER SUICIDE

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health is to dedicate Psychologists in order to
provide counseling services to young people who get stressed as they receive their
results. This service will be open to all learners, parents and educators during official
office hours on a Toll-Free number 0800 005 133

The Department is concerned that there has been an increase in attempted and
successful suicides by learners. Reports are suggesting that this is likely to increase
in the next few months. The extended public sector strike may have also resulted in
learners being put under immense pressure for examinations.

Suicide (i.e., taking one’s own life) is a serious public health problem that affects
young people. “About one third of the reported cases of suicidal behaviour in South
Africa involve children and adolescents. Statistics reveal a grave situation, with
estimates of up to 9.5% of unnatural deaths of children and adolescents in South
Africa being the result of suicidal behaviour. Recent hospital-based research
indicates that a quarter or more of the patients who were admitted because of their
suicidal behaviour were black youths aged 18years or younger” (Schlebusch L;
Suicidal Behaviour in South Africa).


This programme will create awareness of suicide amongst the general population.
Parents, educators and learners will be educated regarding early recognition of the
signs and symptoms suggestive of a distressed teenager who is potentially at risk for
suicide. In addition, it will provide a support system for the counselling and support
of learners, educators and parents alike.

We urge all young people who find themselves stressed to make use of this service.
A Psychologist will be available to help learners deal with stress during office hours
on the Toll-Free number, 0800 005 133.

ENDS

ISSUED BY:
CHRIS MAXON
083 285 0567

                     uMnyango Wezempilo . Departement van Gesondheid

                        Fighting Disease, Fighting Poverty, Giving Hope

				
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