With yet another man taking his own life in Jeffreys Bay last week, bringing the number of suicides to at least 12 this year alone, it is clear something is not right.

The striking similarity with the suicides is that the vast majority of them are males of all ages.  The youngest was 17 years old and the oldest well over 50. All race groups are represented as well.

According to an expert who cannot be named for professional reasons, there has been an upsurge in people suffering from depression in Jeffreys Bay.

Not even South Africa's abundant beauty can be enough when depression closes in on a person.

It appears that depression is afflicting people of all age groups and all races. Many women seek help while men tend to battle with the problem themselves, which may indicate why more men are committing suicide than women in our town.

Most teens who were interviewed in a study by the Walter Sisula University after making a suicide attempt say that they did it because they were trying to escape from a situation that seemed impossible to deal.

They didn’t want to die as much as they wanted to escape from what was going on. And at that particular moment dying seemed like the only way out.

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Depression and a feeling of hopelessness are key ingredients in suicides. The current economic crisis which has put many people under unprecedented financial pressure is a key cause in the increased number of suicides worldwide which now number just under a million a year.

Jeffreys Bay is not alone and there has been a substantial increase in suicides across South Africa, with a noticeable increase in the former homeland of Transkei.

There is always hope. Speak to your doctor, your pastor or a good friend if things are feeling like they are becoming too much. There is always hope.

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