Teach school learners and matriculants that failure does not necessarily mean the end of their future.
The Gauteng Department of Education and local psychologists are urging parents to monitor their children for any signs of depression or suicidal thoughts in the wake of receiving poor year end academic results.
The warning comes after reports of a Grade 11 learner from Strauss Secondary School, Ekangala having committed suicide after receiving his year-end academic report on December 6.
It is alleged that the learner’s mother found him hanging in the garage at his home.
Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng MEC for Education said: “The department appeals to learners not to commit suicide, and emphasise that, failing a grade does not signify the end, we all fail at some point; however, we must be encouraged to start over and strive to reach our desired goals.”
He added: “Suicide is not an option since there is available intervention and support for learners. The department urges parents and the community to closely monitor the behaviour of learners and seek intervention timeously.”
Christopher Langefeld, clinical psychologist said suicides were particularly prevalent during December and January as those were the periods learners received their final year academic results.
Langefeld said parents could look out for signs of the child becomes socially withdrawn, expressing a low or down mood or when they become increasingly quiet.
Tebogo Monyamane, clinical psychologist, said it was important for parents to be supportive, and encourage their children to consider other options, however, if the child seemed to be struggling to also consider seeking professional help.
The department urged learners experiencing depression due to their poor academic performance to contact the following numbers for intervention and support: Childcare toll free line:  0800 055 555, or Childline Gauteng contact number: 011 645 2000 during working hours.