Thursday, January 14, 2021

Increase in number of Western Cape learners who committed suicide

The number of learners who committed suicide at Western Cape schools, has increased five times since 2015, despite a slight dip in 2019.

According to the Western Cape Education Department, seventeen learners committed suicide in 2020. This is six pupils more than the previous year.


Year

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Total of WC learners who committed suicide

3

4

12

13

11

17

 

Head of Department, Debbie Schafer says:

‘’Psycho-social support interventions follow a three-fold approach based on the learner’s level of risk: high level interventions, with the cooperation of the provincial Department of Health, are targeted at learners who are at a high-risk, which is the suicidal stage. Followed by low-to-medium risk learners, who receive classroom and counselling support.’’

Learners can also contact our Safe Schools hotline for counselling support.

The DA’s Western Cape Education Spokesperson, Lorraine Botha, said the numbers beg a greater concern for the well-being of learners.

‘’We must commit greater attention to learner Mental Health issues, particularly due to the added pressures associated with Covid-19, including reduction of contact time and related anxiety on learners’ performance.’’

‘’As the DA in the Western Cape, we will monitor the well-being of learners as we still operate in uncertain times that impact our futures. We call on teachers and parents to exercise due cognisance toward the mental health of learners.’’ Botha added.

Learners are further encouraged to use the Safe Schools hotline at 0800 45 46 47 for counselling support.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

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