LISTEN: “There is help and there is hope” – SADAG on World Mental Health Day.

LISTEN: “There is help and there is hope” – SADAG on World Mental Health Day.

On World Mental Health Day, Carol Ofori had an important conversation with Roshni Parbhoo-Seetha, who is the Projects Co-Ordinator at the South African Depression and Anxiety Group. 

Cut out papers on cardboard referring to mental health
Cut out papers on cardboard referring to mental health/Pexels/@Vie Studio

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A study conducted in 2022 found that South Africans suffer much higher rates of depression and anxiety than other countries.

Sadly, only a quarter of these people ever receive treatment. (WITS)

Speaking to Carol, Parbhoo-Seetha says that for far too long we’ve viewed someone with mental health issues as someone who is ‘crazy’.

She says, “Mental illness is like any other illness. It’s like cancer and it’s like diabetes. Once we start seeing it as a real illness we realise it is nothing to be ashamed of and there is help and there is hope.”

“Unfortunately in South Africa a lot of research is not done on mental health, but in terms of what is stressing us out as South Africans is our socio-economic problems.”

Parbhoo-Seetha says SADAG does a lot of work in the schools and many of the learners say that their biggest problem is family issues at home and financial issues.

She also says that bullying doesn’t just happen in schools,

“People are so bogged down by our their sadness and negative feelings that they try to bully the next person to make them feel worse than us, but what we don’t realise is that the next person might be hanging on for the last bit of hope and we need to be kind.”

In terms of how to help someone who you suspect has a mental health issue, Parbhoo-Seetha says it’s important to talk and ask questions.

“People need to know there is support if they need it, so sometimes the best thing you can do for someone is just be there with them.”

If you need someone to talk to or suspect someone close to you needs help, please contact SADAG toll-free on 0800 567 567 or visit SADAG website.
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