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Thursday, 15 July 2021

Feel hopeless and helpless, if you undergo these emotions, get help!

STAY TODAY: Student Counselling Unit will be sharing information on the myths related to suicide, tips for self-care, protective factors and helplines, throughout the week. STAY TODAY: Student Counselling Unit will be sharing information on the myths related to suicide, tips for self-care, protective factors and helplines, throughout the week.

The Student Counselling Unit will be streaming an online suicide prevention campaign from 26 July to 30 July.

The campaign will be called #Stay today.  The campaign has three aims:

  • To create awareness around suicide in the hope that it becomes a topic that the CPUT community is comfortable to speak about.
  • To encourage those who are contemplating suicide, for whatever reason, to seek help and to feel that they are not alone.
  • To provide information regarding where to get help and how you can help.

The campaign will be launched with a word of support and the lighting of a virtual candle, from the Office of the Dean of Students.  A checklist that can help to identify risk factors will be shared on the Unit’s online platforms as well as various videos.  On the 27th of July at 6:30 pm, the Unit will be hosting an interactive webinar. The Unit will be collaborating with the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) for this webinar. 

Counselling Psychologist, Thirushni Sam, says they will also be sharing information on the myths related to suicide, tips for self-care, protective factors and helplines, throughout the week. “As Student Counselling [Unit], we feel it is vital that as a CPUT community we start to open up this conversation.  When we talk openly, we can address the issue by gaining a better understanding, equipping ourselves with knowledge regarding how to assist and where to get help,” Sam remarks.

She says South Africa records 23 completed suicides a day and 230 serious attempts. “CPUT as a microcosm of society experiencing this problem can significantly contribute to reducing these numbers.  Suicide has often been thought of as an individual problem. The problem with only viewing it as an individual problem is that we neglect the importance of social forces contributing to suicide. Suicide can affect anyone.”

Sam adds that understanding why people consider suicide as an option together with how to assist someone is vital if people want to reduce this number.  She says this can only happen if people are willing to open up the conversation of suicide. “If we ourselves, have not ever considered suicide, it might be difficult to understand why someone else has. Individuals who have considered suicide often experience a huge amount of shame related to being judged for their actions. Opening up this conversation therefore also means listening to those who have attempted and those who have family and friends who have attempted or completed suicide.”

She adds that this will significantly contribute to addressing the stigma and, hopefully, in turn, will contribute to more individuals reaching out for help when they need it most. “Let’s join together and make our Campuses the safe spaces we would all like it to be!”

Student Counselling Unit would like to encourage everyone who would like to join them in this effort to address suicide and to make our Campuses stigma-free zones to watch their online platforms http://www.cput.ac.za/student/life/counselling,  https://www.facebook.com/CPUTStudentCounselling/, https://www.facebook.com/CPUTSTUDENTS/

Please look out for posters on CPUT Newsflash messages which will have details of the webinar and how to join.

#Stay Today #It’s okay not to be okay #CPUT let’s talk about suicide #It’s not a secret suicide happens!

Written by Aphiwe Boyce