World Suicide Prevention Day: Important numbers for those in need

Today, 10 September, marks World Suicide Prevention Day. The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) has urged locals to reach out to its counsellors if they feel mentally fatigued.

Around 703 000 people commit suicide every year across the globe

The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that approximately 703 000 people around the world take their own lives every year. For every suicide, there are approximately 20 other people attempting suicide while many more have thoughts of suicide.

The purpose of World Suicide Prevention Day is to promote commitment and action in terms of preventing suicides. 

Important numbers for those in need

People who feel they are in need are urged to call. You may SMS 31393 and a counsellor will call you back. If WhatsApp is easier, SADAG is open seven days a week from 8:00 to 17:00 on the number 087 163 2030 for free assistance.

Below is a list of other important numbers:

Important numbers for those in need from SADAG’s website. Photo: Screenshot /

SADAG notes an increase in people reaching out

The Operations Director at SADAG Cassey Chambers stated that there has been an increase in the number of people reaching out, reports SABC News. Chambers explained that there are a lot more challenges, triggers and stresses and that more people are feeling overwhelmed.

“We have seen an increase in the number of calls in people reaching out. At the moment it’s over 3 000 calls per day and 1 in 5 of our calls are suicide-related. We have heard of young children as young as Grade 9 who are taking their own lives. We are hearing of university students as well. So, we are hearing more and more about it which I think what is important is raising awareness and talking about it and people reaching out for help,”

Chambers said.

Elite athletes and SADAG team up to run for mental health

Meanwhile, it was reported that Nedbank Runified has combined virtual and physical running challenges to rally around a very real issue in the country – mental health. 

This running challenge, in partnership with the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), aims to demonstrate that running (particularly in groups) can reduce stress, depression and anxiety.

Earlier in 2022, the Nedbank Runified Breaking Barriers 50 km Ultramarathon, was not only an opportunity for Nedbank to help maintain running in South Africa but the start of the movement for better mental health with running as a catalyst. Read the full story here.

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