In a recent study by Statistics SA, done on 14 and 15-year-olds in the Western Cape, at least 20%, or one in five, attempted suicide over the past year.

According to the South African Society of Psychiatrists (SASOP), there has been a marked increase in mental health issues among young people.

SASOP says these issues had been aggravated by the isolation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and its associated lockdowns.

Board member at SASOP, Dr. Alicia Porter, says the failure in policies and proper implementation of these policies adds to the lack of mental health support services in the country.

Porter says the demand far exceeds the resources that are available.

Read the complete SASOP statement here.

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The South African Society of Psychiatrists says there is an urgent need for the government to boost access to critical mental healthcare support services for young people.

SASOP says this is of critical importance, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The society says there are only about seven state-funded facilities, across the country, that cater to providing mental health support services to children and young people under the age of 18.

Board member at SASOP, Dr. Alicia Porter says this includes the 4 units in Gauteng, one in KwaZulu-Natal, and two in the entire Western Cape.

Porter says the Covid-19 pandemic had a severe negative impact on the mental health of young people in South Africa.

Read the complete SASOP statement here.

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