How parents can support teens facing depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts

CapeTalk's Pippa Hudson hosted an expert panel and live studio audience to discuss teen suicide and the importance of mental health.

There have been several cases of teen suicide reported this year, with the age of mental illness seemingly growing younger.

Suicide is reportedly the third highest cause of death for young people in South Africa, after car accidents and homicide.

Depression and anxiety NGO, Sadag, reports that at least 1 in 4 teens has experienced feelings of hopelessness, with 17% attempting suicide.

Psychiatrist Dr Uschenka Padayachey says the prevalence of teen suicide in the country can be described as an epidemic.

Read: 10 signs you could be suffering from depression

We have to be so aware of what's happening to our children.

Dr Uschenka Padayachey, psychiatrist at the Milnerton Akeso Psychiatric Clinic

Not all children who are depressed are suicidal. But the children who are suicidal are depressed.

Dr Uschenka Padayachey, psychiatrist at the Milnerton Akeso Psychiatric Clinic

Children with depression and anxiety cannot be treated in isolation.

Dr Uschenka Padayachey, psychiatrist at the Milnerton Akeso Psychiatric Clinic

Dr Padayachey says that family support and psychiatric intervention is important for children with depression and anxiety.

She advises that children with impulsive aggressive behaviours towards stress are the most likely to attempt and complete suicide.

LISTEN: Buying your teen a smartphone? Emma Sadleir's word of warning to parents

Family therapist Talya Ressel says anxiety left untreated will only escalate.

Anxiety is on the increase.... don't pretend like it doesn't exist.

Talya Ressel, family therapist and social worker

Resilience is key in developing tools to manage anxiety.

Talya Ressel, family therapist and social worker

Parents are encouraged to talk to their children about their emotions and look out for changes in their behaviour.

Take a listen to the important discussion and their expert advice on how to support teens:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : How parents can support teens facing depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts


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