Heightened anxiety and suicidal thoughts

In their monthly report, one of our teams wrote: “Our CK office provides support to over 1 000 students who face difficult home circumstances and live in a community affected by poverty and social crime.

The community is sometimes hesitant to ask for help, and there is a misconception that children should not speak about their home life to other people. This prevents the disclosure of abuse, domestic violence, and neglect experienced by some of our learners. Many clients who come to CK and disclose are facing the worst of these scenarios and are brave for ‘taking the risk’ and entering our office.

It has been difficult to split my time between clients I see on a weekly basis and walk-ins because I know that walk-ins are an indication that they trust CK.

We have noticed that most of the referrals for September were students in Grade 8 and this is an indicator of the strain that is experienced by this particular age-group where adolescents are confronted with not only the work-load but also face the judgment of their peers. This is where peer pressure influences drug abuse and bullying. The community plays a significant role in the kind of exposure the learners have towards drugs and alcohol, particularly dagga and how easily it is accessed.

A lack of coping mechanisms has led to a significant amount of suicidal cases. This month, the CK office was approached by 5 learners who wanted to take their lives together as a group on the weekend (3 days after the day of walk-in). These learners were contained, each signed the anti-suicide contract and safety plan, which enables them to value their future and equips them with a plan that prevents them from turning to self-harm or suicide. The group returned the next day and expressed their relief as they now had other ways of coping with their pain and stress.”

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