THE SOUTH AFRICAN
DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY
GROUP

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IN THE WORKPLACE

New Research on Depression in the Workplace.

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SADAG NEWSLETTER

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JOURNAL

Mental Health Matters Journal for Psychiatrists & GP's

MHM September 207x300

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SPEAKING BOOKS

suicide book

Literacy is a luxury that many of us take for granted.  We depend on written communication for information, guidance, and access to heath care information That is why SADAG created SPEAKING BOOKS and revolutionized the way information is delivered to low literacy communities. It's exactly what it sounds like.a book that talks to the reader in his or her local  language, delivering critical information in an interactive, and educational way.

The customizable 16-page book, accompanied by local celebrity audio recordings, ensures that vital health and social messages can be seen, heard, read and understood..

We started with books on Teen Suicide prevention , HIV, AIDS and Depression, Understanding Mental Health and have developed over 30 titles, such as TB, Malaria, Polio, Vaccines for over 30 countries.

depression book

PATIENTS AS PARTNERS

PHOTOCOPY FOR YOUR PATIENTS Brought to you by The South African Depression and Anxiety Group WARNING SIGNS: • Social withdrawal • Grades deteriorate • Fear of going to school, being at school, walking to and from school • Crying to sleep • Nightmares • Changes in eating habits • Refusal to say what's wrong • [Excuses not to go to school WHAT PARENTS CAN DO: • Be open to the possibility that your child may be being bullied • If you suspect something may be wrong - ask • Listen to your child • Take him/her seriously • Never blame the child - it is not their fault • Reassure them they were right in telling you • Don't promise to keep it a secret • Discuss practical ways to solve the problem • Teach self-confidence, assertiveness and social skills • Enrol kids in extra mural activities to help them widen their social circle • Never expect kids to work it out on their own • Talk to teachers and other parents - if there's one bullied kid, there will be others. like they wear glasses. It's sad but some bullies learn their behaviour from what they see at home - and as a doctor your intervention in these cases is vital. "I was systematically bullied at school, by teachers too. 17 years later, I am still living with the scars and depression. Every story I hear about bullying strikes a resonating chord deep within me. I would give anything to finally be happy and accept myself for who I am, not for what the bullies told me I was." (Charles*) Research into bullying has shown it has long-term affects, and not just to victims but to the bullies themselves. Targets of bullying are more likely experience low depression and suicidal thoughts, under-perform at school and later in life, abuse substances, and get involved in abusive relationships. Bullies are less likely to finish school, keep jobs, and are more likely to continue their bullying and abusive behaviour right into adulthood. The American Academy of Paediatrics will publish their latest version of the paediatrician's role in preventing youth violence next month and, for the first time, it will include bullying making use of Prof Dan Olweus's recommendation that schools adopt a prevention model. Prof Olweus, a research professor at the University of Bergen, Norway started studying bullying in the 1970s and has developed programmes to "work at the school level and the individual level; they combine preventive programmes and directly address children who are involved or identified as bullies or victims." So what should you, as a doctor, ask during a consultation with a child patient? SADAG has some suggestions: • How's school? • Who are your friends at school? • What do you usually do at break? • Tell parents that bullying is not a right of passage, that it can be prevented. • Encourage parents to contact the school and get experts in to handle the situation. "It's important that your patients feel they can trust you, that you won't judge them", says SADAG's Cassey Amoore. "Open the door to a discussion on bullying by saying something like, 'school can be tough, and I remember break was sometimes lonely'. If you speak out and get a conversation going, it becomes easier for victims to stand up, and speak out." Parents of bullied children need to be encouraged to get the schools involved and take action - speak to the principal yourself if necessary If there's one child being bullied, there are others. "Follow up with the children and their parents, and make sure the situation is getting better", says Amoore. Victims or targets of bullying also need emotional help and a means to raise their self-esteem - as do the bullies themselves. "Simply suspending bullies isn't good enough. We need to look at why they are acting out and intentionally hurting others. We need to teach schools, parents and kids to express their emotions in a different way", says respectme.co.za. "Honestly at the time I didn't know what to really do besides encourage the child to continue his desire to be on stage - he really is very talented too. And I didn't even think about the bullies, and what their futures would be like -1 was too angry with them to see them as victims too", says Dr van der Merwe. If we are to really protect our children, we need to be proactive - good intentions are no longer enough. Parents, communities, and schools must get and send the message that bullying will not be tolerated. If you have a patient you are concerned about or want more information, please contact: The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) on 011 262 6396 or visit www.sadag.co.za; or www.respectme.co.za for more information on anti-bullying talks, workshops, and programmes. By Janine Shamos
 

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