Suicide rates increase during the festive season

On Monday morning, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) reported to have found a middle-aged man who allegedly attempted to hang himself on the N1 South at the Jean Road Bridge crossing in Centurion, Johannesburg.

It said the man fell from the bridge onto the metal road barrier below and sustained serious injuries. He was transported to a nearby hospital in a critical condition.

An investigation has been launched by police.

According to Discovery Health, who started a mental health care programme to treat mental health patients, suicide rates increase during the festive season.

Despite it being a season of joy, many people dread the holiday season for various reasons, including unemployment and failed relationships.

During the first lockdown period, a study published in the South African Journal of Psychology reported that 33% of South Africans experienced depression.

Another study published in the International journal of environmental research and public health confirms that suicide rates tend to increase over the festive season.

Suicide deaths were more prevalent in South Africa in December (11.7%) and January (9.2%).

The study suggests that changes in social activities and the possible influence of the festive season may increase the risk of suicide. This is thought to be true, especially among those living in poorer areas and with lower socioeconomic status.

Some people might be experiencing mental health problems for the first time. Others with existing mental health problems might have found that not meeting their personal year-end expectations made it worse. Add in the potential of yet another gloomy festive season, this could lead to individuals feeling compelled to commit suicide.

If you need help during this time, call the 24hr Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567.

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