COVID-19: Higher Education sets up mental health helpline

COVID-19: Higher Education sets up mental health helpline

Tertiary students and staff - overwhelmed with coronavirus anxiety - are being encouraged to seek help. 

Stress out man / iStock
Stressed out man / iStock

The Department of Higher Education and Training says those needing assistance, can call its 24-hour helpline.

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It's been set up to provide support to over two million college and varsity students and staff, dealing with anxiety and stress - triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Department's Ishmael Mnisi says the programme has the support of the South African Depression and Anxiety Group. 

"South Africa must take note of statements by the United Nations, the World Health Organisation and local experts, that the mental health and wellbeing of societies have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are an urgent priority.

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"COVID-19 is also intensifying anxiety, depression, feelings of loneliness and fear due to economic and academic uncertainties. "

Mnisi says ten clinical psychologists will work across the country to provide counselling, care and support. 

"We must support the mental and psychosocial wellbeing of our post-school education and training sector in equal measure as we implement measures  to prevent and manage COVID-19 within our institutions."

How to access the HIGHER HEALTH 24-hour student helpline:

Toll-free call 0800 36 36 36

SMS 43-33-6

How to access HealthCheck:

Dial using USSD line (does not require data): *134*832*2# 

Add to WhatsApp contacts: 0600 11 0 000 and say HI:

Download using the URL for the webform:

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