Thinking back over the past twelve years, of my time with SADAG, I had to reflect on just how I had come to counsel for The South African Depression and Anxiety Group.
I had been working in the prisons with juvenile offenders for a number of years and decided to take a break. Mysteriously fate led me to the group when I wasn’t looking. There I found a space, where I could help, even in some small way, by focusing on a larger cross section of the South African population, irrespective of age, gender, creed or socio economic standing. Through a simple telephone we can reach out and be accessible to all.
These years of counselling have taught me humility and made me more aware of how desperately the need for mental health education is required.
Stigma is still a major obstacle regarding community collaboration in our country.
Counselling I find it is in itself challenging, heart-wrenching yet fulfilling. It carries with it the responsibility of weighty decisions often under pressure, when faced for example with an eminent suicide threat. One is constantly aware of how vulnerable the phone link is with the caller.
For me each call is the most important call at the time and problem-solving becomes the focus as each case is unique. I thrive on the ongoing training by professional lecturers and further studying. Passion is our driving force and dedication sustains us all. On reflection I consider I have grown with SADAG and it has become part of my life.