The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) was recently recognised by the South African Medical Association (SAMA) Gauteng for their contribution to the Mental Health field. SADAG received an award on Thursday night at the SAMA Awards for being 'an organization/member of society that has made an extraordinary, selfless contribution to the health and welfare of society in general.’
Dr. Colinda Linde, SADAG Chairman accepting the award said that “it is greatly appreciated to be recgonised as an organization that has made an outstanding contribution to society. SADAG’s work in community development, its very active call centre, and its Teen Suicide Prevention Programme were among the activities acknowledged as having made a great impact on the youth of South Africa.”
SADAG, now in its 22nd year, has worked tirelessly at getting Mental Health issues included by medical aid schemes (including bipolar disorder as a Chronic Condition, which was not accepted 20 years ago as a serious illness), to fighting the Gauteng Health MEC for the closing of the Life Esidimeni facilities for 2000+ patients which has resulted in over 37 deaths, and to coordinating the best possible psychological therapy guidelines for patients, amongst other things.
The Chairman of the Gauteng division of SAMA is Dr. Grootboom, who said, "These awards are to recognize members of society who make an extraordinary contribution to health and who make a great difference through their work”. SADAG takes up to 400 calls a day, engages over 100 volunteers, supports over 200 support groups countrywide, and runs the Janssen’s Counselling Container for 200,000 people in Diepsloot.
Dr. Frans Korb, Vice Chairman of SADAG, felt “being the voice of patients on issues ranging from government policy to medical aid schemes, has helped greatly. SADAG directly responds to the needs of the public quickly and skillfully and produce a journal on topics of mental health issues for GPs which has been very powerful. The stigma of Mental Health has been greatly reduced in recent years due, in part, to our massive media campaigns on TV and radio “.
As Dr. Colinda Linde said: “Everyone needs access to mental health services and treatment. From a community perspective everyone is equal, and so assistance is for everyone in the country. We reach the whole of South Africa, and places beyond. People are never turned away.”
For more information and Press queries please contact:
Zane Wilson (Founder)
Dr Colinda Linde
011 285 0088
Dr Frans Korb
011 326 1444