This Is a Story About Sui­cide

WHY DO YOU NEED TO READ IT? BE­CAUSE MORE YOUNG WOMEN THAN EVER ARE TAK­ING THEIR LIVES, AND IF YOU KNOW HOW TO COPE WHEN YOU (OR A FRIEND) ARE FEEL­ING BLUE, THINGS CAN GET BET­TER

Cosmopolitan (South Africa) - - REPORT - BY AN­DREA STAN­LEY IL­LUS­TRA­TIONS ADAMS CAR­VALHO

Call it the 13 Rea­sons Why e ect: af­ter the series about a 16-year-old who ended her life started stream­ing on Net lix last year, ev­ery­one was talk­ing about it. You loved it. You hated it. You were torn, but you’re will­ing to give sea­son two a shot. Ei­ther way, what’s im­por­tant is that the sub­ject of teen sui­cide was in the spot­light. Ac­cord­ing to Africa Check, sui­cide was the fourth-lead­ing cause of death for youth aged be­tween 15 and 24 in South Africa in 2012. That year, 1665 young peo­ple died as a re­sult of sui­cide. The World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion es­ti­mated that there were 12,3 deaths by sui­cide for ev­ery 100000 peo­ple in South Africa in 2015. In 2016, the South African De­pres­sion and Anx­i­ety Group (SADAG) re­ported that 60% of young South Africans who com­mit­ted sui­cide suf­fered from de­pres­sion.

Death by sui­cide and why it hap­pens re­mains un­re­ported and mis­un­der­stood. Ex­perts aren’t re­ally sure why, al­though the in­creased use of smart­phones and so­cial me­dia is cer­tainly float­ing around as a the­ory – South Africa alone has a cy­ber­bul­ly­ing rate of 24%, ac­cord­ing to SADAG. What ex­perts do know is that you can beat the trend – and that by eras­ing the shame around men­tal-health is­sues, rais­ing aware­ness and en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to get help, lives can be saved. So we talked to ther­a­pists, psy­chol­o­gists and doc­tors to cre­ate a com­plete guide to emo­tional health – from what de­pres­sion looks and feels like to ex­actly what you should do if you’re in a bad place. Help starts on the next page.

SCAN TO WATCH FOUR COSMO GIRLS SHARE THEIR STORY. Scan via

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