THE shocking suicide of two young children in Walvis Bay and Swakopmund recently put the mental state of people that had to subdue to harsh restrictive measures of the COVID-19 State of Emergency for the past five months under the microscope.
Commenting on the prevalence of suicide especially amongst children in the region, Childline Lifeline Counselling Centre Coordinator, Lesheni Hakandonga said that there is no such thing as too young when it comes to mental health issues.
Hakandonga said that the leading causes of suicide in children can include mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression, trauma, or toxic home environments.
“A child has a voice, and sometimes as parents, we do not allow children to voice themselves and as a result, they feel not accepted. Trauma can be a contributing factor which leads to suicide, abusive relationships take a toll on the mental health of children, even as adults we do not forget traumatic memories, they become impeded in our subconscious mind, even a four-year-old toddler can experience trauma and remember it when they are older,” Hakandonga said.
She advised that warning signs that a child may commit suicide include a change in behaviour patterns. “As a guardian, you can see a change in the behaviour of your children, sometimes a child can go from being very talkative to being in a shell. Children are relatable beings, they like to be played with, they like people who are fully aware and conscious of their presence, that’s why they sometimes find it easier to talk to strangers. If any parent notices issues, call ChildLine on the toll-free line 116 or the GBV hotline on 106,” Hakandonga concluded.