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Mental health — here’s where you can get help should you need it

19 April 2021 - 07:44 By cebelihle bhengu
Lockdown has had profound effects on people's lives and mental health across SA. Stock photo.
Lockdown has had profound effects on people's lives and mental health across SA. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/F8studio

Mental health continues to dominate online conversations as South Africans attempt to destigmatise it by sharing their personal experiences.

Last week, Miss SA Shudufhadzo Musida shared a message of support for mental health sufferers, assuring them “it’s OK to not be OK”.

Musida is an advocate for mental wellness and hosts Wellness Mondays, a weekly Instagram Live series in partnership with the SA Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag). 

Bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression are among the topics she has discussed.

Sadag defines depression as a “whole body” illness that involves one’s body, mood and thoughts. The group says though it is normal to feel down from time to time, when this goes on for too long it can interfere with one’s ability to function in their daily lives and cause depression.

Symptoms of depression include a persistent sad, anxious or empty mood, feelings of hopelessness and pessimism, insomnia and fatigue. Not all individuals who are depressed experience the same symptoms, according to Sadag.

Politicians and celebrities including DA MP Phumzile Van Damme, Simphiwe Dana and broadcaster Melanie Bala have recently opened up about their struggles with depression.

Here’s where you can get help:

  • Sadag — 0800 567 567 

This is a non-profit organisation that offers assistance for free. Its team is made up of psychiatrists, psychologists and general practitioners. They are open 24/7. 

This is a free 24-hour crisis prevention centre that offers telephonic or face-to-face counselling.

The website offers a list of experts including psychologists and counsellors. They offer online consultations.

This is a non-governmental organisation that offers mental health support.

  • The Johannesburg Parent and Child Counselling Centre — 011 484 1734

The centre offers short and long term counselling to parents and children with developmental needs. They also deal with custody conflicts, marital problems, anxiety and depression.