The World Health Organisation (WHO) says suicide is a leading cause of premature death among young people in the world, making it a serious global public health problem.

The organisation says suicide is the second leading case of unnatural death after road deaths among the 15 to 29 year old.

It’s estimated that about 800 000 people die of suicide every year.

This comes as the world commemorates World Suicide Prevention Day today (tuesday

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) also releases some alarming figures to help create awareness and offer insight into suicide in South Africa.

The group said since January 2019 they have received more than 145 000 calls and, of those, almost 42 000 have been to the Suicide Helpline.

Sadag board member Dr Sindi Van Zyl says, “The biggest challenge is people seeking help. We know that the main cause of people dying by suicide is relationship issues, there are financial issues as well and of course trauma. But the biggest cause is undiagnosed and untreated depression.”

Sadag says they are seeing an alarming number of people who think of committing suicide. Operations Director at Sadag, Cassey Chambers says  “We are seeing in our call centre where just since January over the last eight months we have received over 41 000 suicide calls where people are feeling completely helpless and hopeless and needing desperate help.

“One of the biggest causes for suicide in SA and the world is undiagnosed or untreated depression, so for us its really important to educate our people about the signs and symptoms of depression and getting help before its too late,” Chambers adds.

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