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

To view the larger PDF version - click here

3 best words1

3 best words2

Life Skills The Three Best Words You, Can Say No, it's not, "I love you." Or, "Holy smokes, Batman!” lt's, "Are you okay?" By Tara Ali and Kirsty Carpenter 1. I _ tf 4 For every Facebook weather status update and ad, therds a person FMLing all over your newsfeed. While dramatic displays of emotion have become wallpaper in our culture of oversharing, it still pays to check in on your friends to see if they're actually okay. And it begins with a conversation. Herds how to make your words count... STEP #1 Switch on your radar Prise your eyes away from Instagram - we know, it's totally addictive - for some friend maintenance. Maybe you noticed a colleague red-eyed in the toilets. Has your brother been slack at responding to your calls? Has a girlfriend been AWOL for Friday night drinks? These are all signs they could be having a hard time. At work it's not so obvious. People don't like to share their personal issues as they're worried they'll look unprofessional and that it will impact their career. "Subtle signs they're not okay include: trouble concentrating or making decisions; irritability - even over small matters; loss of interest in normal work activities or after-hours drinks; or even back pain and headaches," says Prof Soraya Seedat, executive head of the Department of Psychiatry at Stellenbosch University. STEP #2 Ask the question If you’re asking face to face, start the conversation somewhere private, lean forward slightly, Life Switch to genuine face time. use open and relaxed body language - no folded arms or standing over them. Seedat says: "Talking sensitively about the changes you’ve noticed, in a non-accusatory and nonblaming manner, is key." She adds that using "I'' statements can help: 'Tve noticed you don't enjoy your work any more and are struggling to finish your tasks" or 'Tm worried that your appetite isn't as good as it Was” If confronting someone makes you feel a bit, well, confrontational, try messaging or emailing. When Belinda*, 27, got a text from VathisWa, it opened up the floodgates. "My job was frustrating me on a daily basis, but I was too scared to leave," says Belinda. 'T wasn't happy in my relationship and I was homesick. But I went through each day with a smile, not even admitting to myself I was in a dark place. When VathisWa said she was worried about me, it all came pouring out." Belinda saw a doctor and was diagnosed with depression. Opening up was the first step in her turnaround. The role of social support in helping people with depression is crucial. More than 8O percent of South Africans don't get treatment, according to the SA Stress and Health Study, so saying, 'Tve noticed a change in you," can be all it takes to get someone to open up. STEP #3 Listen, don't j udge Resist jumping in to try to solve their problems - and don't look at your phone or fidget. Let them do the talking. Be comfortable with any silences - this may be the first time they've talked about it. Nod, lower your voice and express empathy, by saying, "I understand this is distressing for you," or, "I can see that it's been difficult." If they deny anything’s wrong or won't open up, they're not ready, so check in again soon. "They may become awkward, frustrated, angry or noncommunicative. Try to stay calm, but be firm, fair and consistent in your approach," says Seedat. "If they're unwilling to talk about things, let them know 86 WOMEN'S HEALTH / November 2o1s/womensHealthSA,co,za how their behaviour is affecting other family members, friends or colleagues." Say that you’re available if they want to chat another time. They may come back when they've calmed down. STEP #4 Encourage some action To wrap up the conversation, repeat what they've told you. This shows you’ve listened and care about what they're going through. "It's also useful to emphasise the positive effects of getting help, and that you care about their well-being and want to assist," says Seedat. Assess whether they're in a low-risk situation - for example, their grandpa died and they're upset, but they can function - or if their distress is medium to high - they're very upset or their behaviour has changed. If it's the latter, gently suggest some resources for support if they want to speak to someone. However, "if the situation is urgent - they're threatening to kill themselves - and you’re scared Assistance Programme (EAP) that offers free and confidential independent counselling. Or they could see a psychologist - SADAG can recommend one in your area. "The ultimate goal is to help your friend or colleague," says Seedat. STEP #5 Follow up Put a note in your diary to call, email or check in on them no longer than a week later. People often forget to do this, especially managers in workplaces. They think, I 've had the conversation now and ticked the boxes. But the follow-up is important to make sure action has been taken. See whether they're up to speaking to someone. It doesn't have to be formal - it should feel like the opposite. Check in on a friend or colleague on a lunchtime walk, a coffee run or wherever works. What counts is saying those three little words. I Role Reversal: How To Admit You’re Not Okay We all know the automated response: "Good, thanks!" Btt l may be best to say, "Actually I'm not doing oo well oday," or 'Tm doing fine today," i that's Wow you feel, says Jess Davies, 34, who los ourfamiy membe s o suicide. Seedat agrees. “Tell them hat you're st uggling and hat you'd appreciate heir assstance, btt also ask hat they espect your privacy - and scary - to drop your guard but, says Jess, drawing on the and confdentiality." v _- tmight eel unnattral -, that the person is in immediate danger, don't leave them alone," says Seedat. Call their doctor or a mental-health crisis service, like the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG). If you feel out of your depth, remember: you’re not expected to be their therapist - many workplaces have an Employee support around you will give you more strength. "Let them know what will help: a chat, a cup of tea, a walk in the forest ora hug. It's not often that someone feels worse after sharing the load." GALLO lMAGES/GETTYlMAGESCOf/l; ‘NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED

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