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Mental Health Matters Journal for Psychiatrists & GP's

MHM Volume 7 Issue1 small

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cope with cancer 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.

suicide speaking book

This International Mandela Day, NGO SADAG is giving back to communities in need with their #67SpeakingBooks campaign.

To honour Madiba’s legacy, this year SADAG is donating sets of Speaking Books to communities in need. SADAG put out a call to action for individuals and companies to Make Mental Health Matter this Mandela Day by donating R150 to sponsor a Speaking Book for a needy organisation

SADAG created the Speaking Books as an innovative education tool particularly for rural, disadvantaged and low literacy communities. The Speaking Book is a 16-page hard-covered book filled with bright illustrations and easy-to-understand copy. Alongside the reading book is an audio panel – at the touch of a button each page is read out, word for word. This means that patients who cannot read due to illiteracy, illness or age, still have access to vital health information. Research shows that understanding, compliance and behaviour change happen when a message is seen and heard.  To add to the appeal, local celebrities lend their voices to the Speaking Books making these innovative tools even more reliable and engaging.

International Mandela Day came early for community organisations in Alexandra township. First the #67SpeakingBook team visited the Uncedolwabantu Community Centre. This centre supports 20 Home Based Care Workers in their work with HIV care and the enrichment of the lives of 620 orphans and vulnerable children in their care. The set of Speaking Books donated as part of the campaign will empower the centre to better help patients and children in their care.

The #SpeakingBook team moved to the Mveledzo Community Centre, which has 210 children in their care. All the children were present for the Mandela Day drop-off and the #67SpeakingBook team got to witness their joy, excitement and appreciation.

The Speaking Books are a simple, yet highly effective tool for education and empowerment of communities who lack access to basic services. As an NGO, being able to give hope and help to communities in need is a powerful way to celebrate Nelson Mandela and remember his legacy.

Visit and contact Cassey on 011 234 4837 to get involved. You can also follow @SpeakingBooks to see the #67SpeakingBooks team visiting Ivory Park and Dieplsoot for more Mandela Day celebrations and sharing.

For more information, please contact Cassey Chambers or Naazia Ismail on 011 234 4837 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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