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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Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) says that the Census 2022 will be extended to 20 March 2022.

The population count started on 2 February and was initially sentenced to end on 28 February. This census included digital and face-to-face data collection. Stats SA says that by 24 February they had already reached 2 million households.

Census 2022 Project Director, Calvin Molongoana says that even the online census has been slow and that field workers would follow up with people who had registered to complete the census online.  Only 25% percent of people who had registered for the online census had logged on and completed the questionnaire.

The cut-off date to complete the online census is 25 February and people who registered were sent reminders via email and SMS to complete the survey.

Molongoana admitted that there have been logistical hiccups in collecting data, including reaching households in rural areas and restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement Stats SA said: “Looking at the number of households that still need to be counted, we have decided to extend the period of enumeration. We have now extended online counting until Friday, 25th February 2022. Those who have registered to be counted over the phone, by availing their contact details will be called and interviewed, otherwise our fieldworkers will continue to visit every dwelling unit to count people through personal interviews. Both personal and telephone interviewing will run concurrently until the 20th March 2022.”

Anyone who needed assistance with the Census 2022 or the online process is encouraged to call 0800 110 248 (toll-free) for assistance.