AS WE proceed through the annual matric exam period, parents across Mzansi are encouraged to support and protect their children.
Research has shown that around this time pupils come under enormous pressure and some start thinking of suicide as a way out.
Rachelle Nkunzi, clinical psychologist and youth development officer, said that in South Africa, social and parental pressure can stress youth immensely.
“This period is one of the most stressful times for many youth. Teen suicides are very real so we need to make sure that we know what our children are stressed about and make sure that we know what is going on in their lives.”
Farai Chibatamoto, a senior student advisor and faculty head at the College for Business and Maritime Studies, said: “It is normal for youngsters to feel pressure and stress during this time. As parents and peers, we place tremendous pressure on matriculants. The only focus, it seems, is for your child, niece or nephew’s name to be in the paper once the final results are revealed. It is not uncommon for those youngsters whose names are not in the paper to resort to suicide to escape humiliation. We need to support them all the way.”
Holger Schonfeld, director and life skills coach, said: “Every year we read terrible stories of youth resorting to suicide just because they didn’t pass matric.
“I am taking it upon myself to encourage all the youth around me to look beyond social pressures and focus on their dreams and aspirations. I urge all the pupils out there to enjoy this time with their friends, teachers and families because this marks an important milestone in their lives. Do your best and have fun.”
In an attempt to curb teen suicide and assist the youth of South Africa to make better choices for their futures and their careers, Schonfeld will be offering free counselling to those students who need it.
Those students who require career guidance counselling and advice are urged to contact the college. For more information, call 011 339 1301 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.