Suicide is a complex behaviour consisting of an interplay between many risks and protective factors impacting at individual, family, community, and societal levels. Suicide varies with sex and age-groups across different countries and regions. South Africa has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, according to the WHO. Kootbodien et al (2020) analysed trends in suicide mortality in South Africa from 1997 to 2016. The team found that when analysing mortality rates by sex and age, suicide rates were highest in South African men, aged 15 to 44 years, and women older than 75 years. According to the WHO the link between suicide and mental disorders (in particular, depression and alcohol use disorders) is well established, but many suicides happen impulsively in moments of crisis.

The criteria for depression with a seasonal pattern or SAD, include having depression that begins and ends during a specific season every year (with full remittance during other seasons) for at least two years, and having more seasons of depression than seasons without depression over a lifetime [Image: Shutterstock].

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