A recent suicide of a university student in South Africa has put self-harm deaths back in the headlines. We look at 5 facts about suicide in South Africa.

A 19-year-old woman reportedly jumped to her death in the South African suburb of Braamfontein. Media reports suggest that the university student was encouraged by people on the ground.

How many people die due to suicide each year in South Africa? Where does the country rank globally? And who is most at risk? Here are 5 facts on the sad extent of suicide in South Africa.

  • 6,133 suicides in 2012

Statistics South Africa’s 2015 Mortality and Causes of Death report estimated that 484 deaths were due to self-harm. The statistics are based on death certificates from the department of home affairs, but experts caution that suicide deaths are under-reported on these forms.

South Africa’s Medical Research Council used post-mortem data to calculate a more accurate estimate as part of their 2012 Burden of Disease study, the most recent available. This placed the number of deaths by suicide at 6,133 in 2012 – compared to fewer than 500 for the same year captured on death certificates.

This story was first published by the Africa Check, a Wits Journalism project. Please click on the following link to read the full article: #5facts: The sad extent of suicide in South Africa