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FOUNDER ZANE WILSON

For Queries Zane@sadag.org

HELPLINE NUMBERS

24-HOUR TOLL-FREE EMERGENCY HELPLINES

Suicide Crisis Helpline
0800 567 567

Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Helpline
0800 12 13 14
SMS 32312

Cipla Mental Health Helpline
0800 456 789
SMS 31393

NPOwer SA Helpline
0800 515 515
SMS 43010

Healthcare Workers Care Network Helpline
0800 21 21 21
SMS 43001

UFS #Fair Kitchens Chefs Helpline
0800 006 333

8AM-8PM TOLL-FREE HELPLINES

Dr Reddy’s Mental Health Helpline
0800 21 22 23

Adcock Ingram Depression & Anxiety Helpline
0800 70 80 90

ADHD Helpline
0800 55 44 33

Pharma Dynamics Police & Trauma Helpline
0800 20 50 26

8AM-8PM SADAG OFFICE NUMBER

SADAG
011 234 4837

Counselling Queries
zane@sadag.org (Founder)

WHATSAPP NUMBERS

8AM – 5PM

Cipla Mental Health
076 882 2775

Maybelline BraveTogether
087 163 2030

Ke Moja Substance Abuse
087 163 2025

Have Hope Chat Line
087 163 2050

UNIVERSITY LINES

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SUPPORT GROUPS

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SADAG has over 160 free Support Groups. To find out more about joining or starting a Support Group click here.

Mental Health Calendar 2024

2023 Mental Health Calendar

To view our Mental Health Calendar
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QUESTIONNAIRES

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Do You want to check your Mental Health?

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 covid survey

 

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) has been receiving more calls since the start of lockdown from people feeling anxious, lonely, worried and depressed. Many callers are stressed about a combination of issues including the spread of COVID-19, finances, relationship problems, job security, grief, gender based violence and trauma.

“COVID-19 and the lockdown has affected many South Africans, and it has had a serious impact on people living with a mental health issue often making their symptoms more heightened. SADAG has been receiving calls from people with no history of anxiety or depression who are feeling overwhelmed, anxious and stressed”, says SADAG’s Operations Director Cassey Chambers.

SADAG conducted an online survey on Mental Health during the COVID-19 lockdown via various online platforms including their website, newsletter members, Facebook and Twitter. Within 10 days there were over 1200 participants (total 1214 respondents) who completed the short 7-minute survey asking participants about their home life, their mental health before and during lockdown, how they accessed information and what coping tips helped them to manage their mental health during the lockdown.

While a massive 92% of the respondents supported the lockdown – 65% of the people who completed the survey felt stressed or very stressed during it.
SADAG’s helplines receive calls from people across the country - from all races, gender, age, socio-economic backgrounds – which again highlights that mental illness does not discriminate. In the survey, females were the majority of respondents – 85% versus males with only 15%. 48% of respondents were between the ages of 26 – 45 years old. The majority of respondents were from Gauteng which accounted for 60%, while 17% were from the Western Cape.

The research showed that 62% of respondents are currently employed, while 38% were not employed at the time of the survey. Approximately two-thirds of the respondents (62%) were currently employed, while a third (38%) were unemployed at the time of the survey.

A total of 59% of respondents said they were diagnosed with a Mental Health issue prior to lockdown. Depression was the most common mental health diagnosis at 46%, Anxiety was reported as the second most common diagnosis at 30%, and then Bipolar Disorder at 12%. “These conditions could certainly be exacerbated by the lockdown,” says SADAG Board Chairperson, Psychiatrist and Psychologist, Dr Frans Korb. “Particularly if the individual lives alone or in a dysfunctional home situation.” As 16% of the respondents live along, this may be especially problematic for them.

Of concern, is that 16% of respondents live alone – and the loneliness and isolation is a recurring theme from the hundreds of callers who contact SADAG’s helplines every day. Loneliness could have mental health implications. “For many people, this is a worrying amount of alone time when they are forced to face themselves, their fears and anxieties alone,” says Dr Frans Korb.

The main challenges experienced during lockdown included:
1. 55% Anxiety and Panic
2. 46% Financial stress and pressure
3. 40% Depression
4. 30% Poor family relations
5. 12% Feelings of suicide
6. 6% Substance abuse

While 47% of respondents lived with three to five people in a household, another risk is that it also puts family members (or household members) in a difficult position should one be ill – physically or mentally – at it would impact the entire household and the risk for spreading the virus within a household are high.

SADAG has been encouraging callers, members and the general public to use reliable sources of information on COVID-19 to help alleviate the fear, misinformation and fake news that can create anxiety and stress. Respondents accessed information regarding COVID19 during lockdown through various platforms including: press and media (72%), televised Government speeches (71%), social media (60%), friends and family (41%) and the Government Whatsapp group (17%).

The main sources of coping skills and resources was led by SADAG social media and website (49%), followed by news websites (27%) and international organisation websites like CDC and WHO (26%).

Respondents shared the top 5 activities that helped them feel better during lockdown which included:
1. Getting some exercise (50%)
2. Chatting to someone (50%)
3. Watching a film/TV show (not the news) (48%)
4. Doing housework or a home project (44%)
5. Sharing a meal with family members (35%)

“While the survey sample size is statistically useful, is not sufficiently large to allow for true national or provincial representation. However, this set of findings does accurately represent the views of those contained within the sample of valid survey responses (n-1214),” says Senior Research Associate, Dr Bronwyn Dworzanowski-Venter.

Support during lockdown is vital – whether you have a pre-existing mental health issue or not. “The survey has given SADAG insight into the challenges that so many people are facing throughout the country, and SADAG will continue to provide various online resources and support, self-help tips and coping skills addressing some of the issues highlighted in the survey,” says Cassey Chambers.

SADAG is providing these kind of support services during this difficult time:
▪ Online toolkit on www.sadag.org providing articles, coping tips, podcasts, online videos, etc.
▪ Sms 31393 and a counsellor will call back (available 24 hours a day)
▪ Helplines providing free telephonic counselling on 0800 21 22 23, 0800 70 80 90, 0800 456 789 (24 hours a day), 0800 12 13 14 (24 hours) and the Suicide Crisis Helpline 0800 567 567 (24 hours)
▪ Whatsapp chat (076 88 22 77 5) with a counsellor 7 days a week, 9am – 4pm
▪ Daily expert online Q&A on SADAGs Facebook page “The South African Depression and Anxiety Group”

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