YOU know that you have to eat right, exercise and get
enough sleep to have a healthy body. But how much attention do you give to your
It’s a subject many people do not want to discuss because
there is a lot of stigma about mental health issues such as depression, post-traumatic
stress disorder (after incidents such as rape or a fire) and suicide.
Many of us are unwilling to reach out for help because we
feel ashamed that we will be seen as ‘weak” or “crazy”. But mental health is
just as important as physical health – if you had a broken leg you wouldn’t be
ashamed to seek professional help – so don’t be ashamed to safeguard your own
We also know that men are less likely to seek help and
treatment, and this can often lead to alcohol and drug abuse, risk-taking
behaviour and even suicide.
People who have survived conflict, violence, abuse and
members of vulnerable groups such as refugees and migrants, LGBTI and prisoners
tend to have higher suicide rates.
Globally, 800 000 people die from suicide each year. It
is the second leading cause of death among 15–29-year-olds and 78% of global
suicides happen in low- and middle-income countries like South Africa.
So what can you do to ensure you stay healthy – both for
yourself and your loved ones?
Apart from self-care such as eating properly, exercising
and getting enough sleep, there is a range of resources available to help you.
Some offer counselling over the phone, some have support groups and others have
useful information online:
Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG)
0800 21 22 23 or 0800 12 13 14 (24Hrs) SMS to 31393
Depression and Anxiety Helpline
0800 70 80 90
for Youth & Students
0800 41 42 43
Social Development Substance Abuse Line 24hr helpline
0800 12 13 14
0800 567 567