With October being Mental Health Awareness Month, Grocott’s Mail spoke to The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG). SADAG is running a number of campaigns this month and offers constant free resources for those experiencing mental health issues.
“We are tackling mental health issues by talking openly, debunking myths and de-stigmatising mental illness every day this month,” said SADAG Press Liaison Kayla Phillips.
“Follow SADAG’s online #WhatIf campaign for Mental Health Awareness Day throughout October. #WhatIf more people knew that there was help available before it was too late? #WhatIf people knew that Depression was a real medical illness that needed real treatment? #WhatIf we had more serious conversations about depression with our teens?”
10 October is World Mental Health Day, and this year’s focus is youth mental health.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “Adolescence and the early years of adulthood are a time of life when many changes occur, for example changing schools, leaving home, and starting university or a new job. For many, these are exciting times. They can also be times of stress and apprehension however. In some cases, if not recognised and managed, these feelings can lead to mental illness.”
Research done by EWN in 2017 states that 12 percent of South African university students experience depression.
Alongside the #WhatIf campaign, SADAG is also hosting a free online question and answer session on 12 October.
“Experts will be answering questions on Youth and Mental Health. Are you a student struggling to cope with the work load before exams? Trying to identify the warning signs of Depression in your friend? Are you feeling down and don’t know who to turn to? Join the #FacebookFriday chat from 1pm – 2pm, and again at 7pm – 8pm. #FacebookFriday”, stated Phillips.
For more information, please visit SADAG’s website or social media platforms.