Depressed matrics to receive counselling

Father helps stressed teenage daughter with schoolwork. Photo: Corbis.

Pupils who sat for the exams last year, as well as their parents, will look forward to excellent results in the run-up to the results’ release. The sight of newspapers on the shelves and the sound of SMSes beeping on their cellphones will be a defining moment.
Some will jump for joy and celebrate their well-deserved results, while others will be shocked and disappointed by how thing turned out. For the disappointed ones, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini has opened a support centre to curb depression and suicide attempts.
The department’s Gender-Based Violence Command Centre will accommodate all 2016 matrics who may be anxious about their results, which come out on 5 January. Dlamini said incidents of depression and suicide tend to be on the increase at this time.
She urged matrics and their parents to make use of the centre to receive counselling and support from trained social workers. She also appealed to parents to look out for any signs of depression in their children so that interventions can be sought early to help pupils deal with the outcome of their exams.
The centre can be reached, toll-free, on 0800 428 428. Callers can also request a centre social worker to contact them by dialing *120*7867# (free) from any cellphone. One can also interact with the centre using Skype by adding HELPME GBV to their contacts and a social worker will accept the invite and call them back.
Dlamini also wished well all the 188 000 social grant beneficiaries who sat for their matric exams last year. She reminded those who will pass and be accepted at institutions of higher learning that they will no longer be means-tested by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme when they apply for financial assistance.
In October last year, a special outreach programme was established by the department and the scheme, in conjunction with the Department of Basic Education, to make sure that social grant beneficiaries could apply for financial assistance. Particular attention was given to reaching pupils in poor nodal areas, as well as those in child-headed households.


Parents have been urged to be there for matric pupils suffering from post-exam anxiety. Photo:

Parents have been urged to be there for matric pupils suffering from post-exam anxiety. Photo:

Siso Naile

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