In light of increased and attempted suicides in the Verulam and Phoenix area, another elderly man also attempted taking his own life at his Verulam home on Orchid Drive, recently.
The cancer patient who had been feeling depressed for days on end allegedly attempted suicide by drinking Jeyes fluid a disinfectant fluid.
The family of the 74-year-old man believes that the elderly cancer patient attempted taking his own life because he felt like a burden to his family.
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Local emergency services alleged that over the course of 2018 alone, there have been nine reports of suicides and eighteen more reports of attempted suicide, in and around the Phoenix and Verulam area.
The local emergency services have also alleged that the reported cases of suicide and attempted suicide included victims burning, overdosing and stabbing themselves.
Speaking to the Phoenix Sun, Nicole Breen, a project leader of the SA Federation for Mental Health, said that family members can look for signs and symptoms in their family members or close friends.
Signs and symptoms include friends or family members talking about wanting to die or wanting to kill themselves, talking about feeling empty, hopeless or having no reason to live, talking about feeling trapped or that there are no solutions to their problems, feeling emotional or physical unbearable pain, talking about being a burden to others, using alcohol or drugs more often, acting anxious or agitated, withdrawing from family and friends, changing eating or sleeping habits, talking about seeking revenge, taking great risks that could lead to death, having extreme mood swings (for example suddenly changing from very sad to very happy) and giving away important possessions.
“Support can be provided to those who are suicidal by taking them seriously, listening to them, being empathetic, through kindness. People in this situation must not be patronised, or told they are simply seeking attention. If you have reason to believe that a person is acutely suicidal, please take them to the nearest hospital to prevent them from harming themselves,” Breen said.
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She encourages communities to become educated about suicide and thus learn not to stigmatise people who may be suicidal.
“Communities can seek to learn about mental illnesses and suicide which can open lines of communication with those who may be suicidal to promote a culture of dialogue and understanding. Children can be encouraged to discuss these issues from a young age, and older members of the community can be encouraged to listen to as well as learn from the young. Furthermore, there are courses available online in what is known as ‘Mental Health First Aid,’ which involves teaching people how to deal with mental health crises just as one would deal with physical issues,” Breen said.
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