According to Psychiatric Management Group; 1 in 10 teenage deaths in South Africa are due to suicide. While 20% of high school learners have attempted suicide.
*please take a moment to let that sink*
These are painful statistics and the sad reality we are live in. What is even sadder is the ignorance and shame we as mental illness patients still face daily.
Misunderstanding, ignorance, and fear are at the root of stigmatization, and these factors have inflicted immense suffering on those who are in any way perceived as “not normal”.
The many myths associated with suicide have also contributed to the perseverance of stigma. Notions that people who kill themselves are “cowards” and “selfish” persist to this day, while attempters are often viewed as “attention seekers” who are not to be taken seriously.
My organisation’s model is based solely on people reaching out to us. But the truth is that not everyone who needs help reach out. The big question for me is how do we then help them?
Depression is a vile, consuming, physiological, and life-eclipsing illness of both the body and the mind. It can fill your head with lies; spoken to you in your own voice; telling you that your life is not worth living, that your pain will not end, that you can only end the suffering through self-harm.
Today I would like to talk about why I have decided to bare it all and share my story with possibly the whole world. This has also been the inspiration behind my new non-profit organisation, Lighthouse Support Group.
I have never been one to discuss my depression journey. I found it to be a rather painful topic which I tried very hard to block from my memories. Until recently I have found out that I become empowered every time I verbalize my depression struggle to others. By sharing my suicide survival stories, I am making it known that I am stronger than depression.
I believe I did not go through all of these to remain the same. I really believe that I need to go out there to create mental health awareness and assist those who are struggling. By being vocal with my depression struggles, I believe I can help remove the stigma which is attached to the mental illness. By being vocal with my victory against depression I believe I can inspire others to keep fighting.
Hey there, My name is Dikeledi and I reside in Johannesburg, South Africa.