10 October 2018: Mental health awareness day, observed on 10 October 2018, is a time for us to reflect on our own mental health as young people. Did you know that in South Africa – 9% of all teen deaths are due to suicide, and this number is on the increase? Suicide is the second leading and fastest growing cause of death in the 15-24 age group.
Research shows that 75% of people who commit or attempt suicide have given some warning. According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), South Africa's largest mental health initiative, 90% of adolescents who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness. "Our teens are depressed and often have no-one to turn to for support", says SADAG founder Zane Wilson. "Combined with a lack of resources, family problems, poverty and loss, suicide all too often seems to be the only answer for these children."
So how then can young people best cope with stress?
Physical activity is one of most effective stress busters. Find activities you enjoy and do them consistently such as running, biking, yoga or walking. Exercising in social settings can also be fun – join a class, or start rollerblading with a friend or two to ease the tension.
Do things that make you smile
Do things that bring you joy, like listening to music, painting or watching movies. Make sure you slot these activities into your schedule even when you are busy or stressed.
Find someone to talk to
It's so much easier to manage stress levels when you let others in on what you going through. Whether it's a parent, teacher or friend, someone may be able to help you find new ways to manage stress. Rosebank College, an educational brand of The IIE for example offers confidential counselling – to make an appointment speak to the Student Relations Manager on your campus.
Tackle the problem
A lot of people cope by ignoring problems, but this doesn't make them go away- but instead they may get worse. Coping directly with problems makes for more emotionally healthier people. For example if its too much work at school that's stressing you – allocate the time to get it done and focus on doing the work during that allocated time.
Avoid stress if possible
Sometimes it's best to avoid the people and situations that stress you out. For example you know the people who are a bad influence on you and the places you are most likely to get into trouble.
Let things go
It's important to address issues when they arise, but sometimes it's better to let them go, if you can't change them. Learn not to take things personally, sometimes you feel badly for things that have very little to do with you. Learn to let go, if it won't change.
About IIE Rosebank College
The IIE Rosebank College is dedicated to providing students with a solid foundation, creating future thinkers to build successful careers. Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a private higher education institution. The IIE quality, accredited courses enable you to thrive in today's working world.
Whether you study at our Braamfontein, Bloemfontein, Pietermaritzburg, Pretoria CBD, Pretoria Sunnyside, Polokwane or Durban campuses, and enrol for an IIE degree, diploma or higher certificate. We are a worthy higher education partner for all students who entrust us with their career development. For more information please visit www.rosebankcollege.co.za