Losing a loved one, getting fired from a job, going through a divorce, and other difficult situations can lead a person to feel sad, lonely and scared. These feelings are normal reactions to life's stressors. Most people feel low and sad at times. However, in the case of individuals who are diagnosed with depression as a psychiatric disorder, the manifestations of the low mood are much more severe and they tend to persist. Depression occurs more often in women than men. Some differences in the manner in which the depressed mood manifests has been found based on sex and age.
For more than two decades, the South African Depression and Anxiety Groups (SADAG) has saved hundreds of lives by providing a support network.
South Africa ranks among nations with high suicide rates, with 10 percent of all non-natural adult deaths due to suicide, despite this being preventable with appropriate help.
It is for this reason we are disturbed by reports that the country’s largest mental health support and advocacy group, the SADAG, faces closure due to financial difficulties.
The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) says that 23 suicides occur daily in South Africa and more than 230 attempted suicides are reported every day, adding that help is available to anyone planning on taking their own life.
SADAG spokesperson, Meryl Da Costa, states that counsellors are available 24 hours a day to offer assistance and referrals to clinics to those in need.
Da Costa asserts that, “Counsellors are trained to identify symptoms leading to suicide, and information is readily available on what to do once such symptoms are suspected.”
A new survey by the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) shows that for every suicide there are 20 attempts by young South Africans.
The Durban Para-suicide study found that up to one-third of all attempted suicides seen in hospitals involve children and adolescents.
The organisation, which has developed a strategy for suicide prevention, are taking this week to be teen suicide prevention week to raise awareness about the symptoms of depression and suicide.
The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), a NGO that counselled the family of a 13-year old Gauteng pupil who committed suicide recently because of bullying, says that more than four suicides attributed to bullying had been reported in the last two weeks around the country.
SADAG operations director, Cassey Chambers, points out that they are receiving more calls about this form of ‘terrorism’, adding that, “A larger number of children are also coming forward and talking about their horrific experiences.”
The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), Africa’s largest mental health support and advocacy organisation, made a presentation on the topic, ‘Rural Health Education Using an Audio Visual Technology’, earlier this week at the SANGONeT ICT4RD Conference in Johannesburg.
The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) says that there has been a 'massive' increase in calls to its office due to an increase in awareness about mental illness.
SADAG project manager, Roshni Parbhoo-Seetha, states that, "Last year, there were about 100 calls coming into our call centre a day and this year it's about 400 calls coming in a day."
Parbhoo-Seetha attributes this to not only an increase in problems, but to an increase in talking about problems such as job losses, debt and mental disorders.