Stressed to Death

News reports last night mentioned that South Africa has a horribly high suicide rate. One person kills themselves every hour, and every day 200 people try to and fail. More black young folk than any other kill themselves (well, we DO have a larger black than white population, so perhaps that's not terribly significant).

And the cause of all this?

The researchers reckon one of the main causes is the New South Africa. Strange, it may seem, as things are generally looking up. But they think that the pressure for young black folk to shake off the shackles of the past and "perform" (whether in society, workplace or whatever), ie show they've progressed way past where they were at 20 years ago - that's simply putting them over the edge! They can't cope with the pressure, and if they don't get it right suicide might seem one of their few options.

It's sad that society can let this happen.

And it's sadder that our communities have fallen apart so badly that there is no support, help, guidance or a "soft place to fall" (thanks Dr Phil! :) ) for them. I can understand the frustration of never being able to leave where you're at to get to a better place, how you can feel stuck and tied down and unable to move. I know many people are bound by poverty into situations they can't seem to get out of. Unemployment is rife, crime is horrendous - it all adds up to a feeling of hopelessness.

Perhaps the fact that most suicides happen on a Saturday, Sunday or Monday indicates the lonliness and futility behind the action?