Pholosong Hospital numbers show high number of teens attempting suicide

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Figures coming out of the Pholosong Hospital in Tsakane, east of Johannesburg, show that a large number of young people are attempting to end their lives.

The hospital’s statistics reveal that 118 patients were admitted after suicide attempts between the beginning of June and the middle of August.

Hospital CEO Dr Nthabiseng Makgana says that while these numbers were alarming, they want to focus on the fact that 46 of the 118 patients were under the age of 18.

She’s attributed the suicide attempts to bullying and strained relationships.

“We have been seeing this trend since the beginning of the year, the numbers haven’t changed much. We had about 40 patients that tried to commit suicide every month from the catchment of Kwathema, Tsakane, and Duduza. I think perhaps what we want to focus on now is the large proportion of patients that are below the age of 18 and that’s what’s alarming. Some of the reasons why then patients try to kill themselves basically (are) relationships – they could be relationships with family members, and relationships be it romantic, but also there is an element of bullying that also needs to be addressed, especially in the society.”

Suicide rates in SA 

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) says there is a shortage of resources and safe spaces for teenagers who are battling with suicidal thoughts.

SADAG research shows that there are 23 suicides in South Africa everyday, with 230 serious attempts.

South Africa ranks 10th in the global suicide rate.

Contributing factors to suicide include failed relationships, failed examinations, losing a loved one and financial difficulties.

More details in the report below: