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Helpline inundated with calls from distressed matrics

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The Department of Social Development’s matric helpline was inundated with calls from distressed pupils in their opening day on Wednesday.

Social development spokesperson Lumka Oliphant told News24 that they had over 3 000 please call me’s and 2 000 callers in their first half of the day.

She said they expect many more distressed matriculants in the coming days.

Oliphant told News24 the helpline was originally created to assist victims of gender-based violence, but has now been opened to matric students.

Oliphant said they did not receive any worrying calls. She said even the matrics who had passed this year were calling asking for help.

“Even those who have passed want to know what is going to happen. Some of them want encouragement,” she told News24.

Oliphant said they had matriculants who committed suicide last year after calling the helpline. “We have social workers ready to help. We know and understand some of them may need assistance,” she said.

The call centre can be reached on 0800 428 428 or dial *120*7867#. News24

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