World Suicide Prevention Day- 10 September 2010
“Into The Light” Suicide Awareness and Remembrance Walk
On Sunday the 12th September from 8:30am at the Durban View Park, Marine Drive, Umhlanga a walk in memory of those lost to suicide will be held. This annual event is in its third year and attendance is growing. Supporters meet in the park, and put their messages in the balloons. The walk to the lighthouse then begins where the balloons are released. Many people bring picnic baskets and have brunch there in the park. For more information please contact Joy on 083 256 5993. Watch out for press on this critical topic. We are also planning a media campaign.
New Counsellor Training
We will be holding our last training for the year at the end of August in Johannesburg. The 2-day training is open to new counselors who want to join SADAG either as a counsellor or even a support group leader. We need forms filled in by Tuesday 10 August; click here to download the application form or you can download it from the SADAG site http://www.sadag.co.za/ or for more information call Emma on 011 262 6396 from 10am to 5pm.
Thanks to SADAG’s New Donors
With SADAG being an NGO and receiving no government funding, our donors are literally our life blood. We’d like to say a very big thank you to Dr Reddy’s Pharmaceuticals for their very generous donation which will really help us to continue our development work - every rand we get is so valuable. We are also excited about working with Dr Reddy’s and their team for World Mental Health Day in October and look forward to some very interesting projects. Also, a very big thank you to Aspen Pharmacare for their most generous donation this year. We will be developing more outreach programmes with them as well as a number of programmes, in rural communities for depression and suicide prevention work. We appreciate and value all our sponsors – without them we couldn’t continue our work. For a full list see our clients on the front page of the website.
Press Thank You
A big thank you to Dr Frans Korb for doing an interview with Radio 702 on Mental Health Awareness Month and answering questions on medication, as well as to Bradley Drake who did an informative Panic Disorder interview on Cape Talk and SAfm. Thanks to the experts Dr Colinda Linde, Leeann Hartman and Dr Rykie Liebenburg who did a show on Anxiety and overcoming stress on 3Talk. A very special thank you to Dr Shadi Motlana for talking to our counselors on Pre and Post pregnancy medication and having given an energizing presentation.
Share Your Story
If you are successfully managing the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Trauma from a fire, hijacking, car accident, robbery, rape, or any other trauma, we invite you to be an encouraging role model for others by telling the story of your journey. World Mental Health Day this year (October 10th) is concentrating on the many millions of people who have undergone trauma in South Africa and may not have recovered, or had encouragement to go for treatment. We are looking for people to share their personal story as a way to inspire hope in others with the symptoms which can affect their lives every day.
Panic Prevention Day In Venues around South Africa
A big thank you to all the psychiatrists, psychologists, doctors, support group leaders, and patients who gave their time on Panic Awareness Day and did such a great job – we are still receiving calls from Panic sufferers. Thanks to the speakers at the Pretoria workshop, Carin Gratia and Suzette Heath; Port Elizabeth had psychologist Gail De Zitter and psychiatrist Dr Peter Crafford; Bloemfontein had psychologist Dr Gert van Niekerk offering crucial information; Durban had CBT expert Francois de Marigny; Cape Town had psychologist Bradley Drake and the Johannesburg workshop had Panic psychologist Dr Colinda Linde, for their outstanding workshops that helped so many. A big thank you has to go to the various support groups and counsellors who helped coordinate the events: Serena Botha, Thavanisha Shanmugam, Simon Agar, Joy Chaing and Chris Carter.
Computer Savvy? We need you desperately to donate your time to create a new software programme for SADAG
Talk to Newsclip press cutting company and one of our Major Donors
SADAG was asked to give a corporate workshop to Newsclip staff as part of their EAP wellness day. The topic was Bipolar Disorder. They split their employees up into four groups, with each group given an hour to watch a DVD called “living with bipolar” from Medihelp and time to ask the SADAG counsellors any questions they had on the DVD or Bipolar Disorder. The DVD was a great tool in conveying the message of Bipolar Disorder and led to fascinating questions.
What the SADAG team discovered once again, was that many people still don’t really understand Bipolar Disorder and find it hard to differentiate it from Major Depressive Disorder. The DVD is great at explaining what a manic phase is and what people with Bipolar Disorder do during this manic phase. This explanation as well as the answers given by the SADAG team on what different people do during a manic phase helped the Newsclip staff understand the difference between the two illnesses. Our thanks to Shai, Natasha and Lindiwe for their presentations.
Every Tuesday night, until 5th October, Kyknet (DSTV Channel 111) from 21:00 – 22:00 will be showing a DVD documentary series on a mental health issue to raise awareness and help patient’s queries. They will have guest psychologists and psychiatrists who will explain the disorders in further detail, as well as have a patient who shares their own personal experience.
On the 21st July 2010, The CEO of The South African Depression and Anxiety Group, Elizabeth Matare, attended the 'Improving Health Care Delivery in Africa' Conference at the Hyatt Hotel in Rosebank. The Conference involved numerous health professionals from many different countries including Zambia, Botswana, Kenya, and sectors of their Governments. Elizabeth was the plenary speaker, and focused mainly on The Speaking Book as an Innovative Tool for effective health promotion, treatment, compliance and behaviour change for low literacy communities. Elizabeth's presentation was well received with comments including that the Speaking Books were a critical tool for patient education.
SAAHE Conference at Wits Medical School
On the 22nd of July, the SAAHE conference was held at Wits Medical School and SADAG had a stand to let the university and members of the school know all the facilities and services that SADAG has to offer as well as how we can help. Participants were also shown the Speaking Books and pamphlets were given out. Natasha and Shannon were available on the day to answer questions that participants had. The day was very successful and new relationships were formed.
SADAG has completed a series of 12 talks and workshops for Rand Water across Gauteng. On the 21st July 2010, Lungelo presented a talk at Emhlangeni on mental health covering numerous topics such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. There were various questions and concerns specifically about family members and work related stress. Face- to-face counselling was provided after the talk to those who needed further help or referrals. The Vereeniging talk was given by Natasha, Keitumetse
and Daphney with face-to-face counselling privately after the talk. The following week’s talks were given at Randwater's Central Depot and Randwater's Head Office in Glenvista and Alberton.
The talks were very successful with individuals asking numerous questions relating to their own issues as well as family members' mental health. Individuals were especially appreciative that Keitumetse presented in Sesotho where it was necessary. Natasha, Lindiwe and Saleha were also available to provide face-to-face counselling. Counsellors were presented with questions ranging from 'What can I do about my mentally unstable husband if his medication is not working?' and 'What can you do about a person who is angry all the time?' as well as 'What can I do if my wife feels anxious?' The talks had great impact and SADAG was asked to return in the future.
Witkoppen Wellness Day
On the 14th July, Ntombi and Natasha attended the Witkoppen Wellness Day at the request of Dr Rita Thom from Tara, to distribute information and let people know about the Janssen Cilag Diepsloot counselling container and the weekly Diepsloot Support Group. A team of five of Tara's psychiatrists and psychologists were involved in presenting information on the categories of depression, substance abuse, children (antenatal), HIV and serious mental illness. The workshop was very successful, with new relationships being formed between mental health professionals, SADAG and Witkoppen
Clinic's patients. Thank you to Ntombi and Natasha for their hard work.
School Talks Trauma Debriefing at Parktown Girls High
On the 19th July 2010, a group of counsellors from SADAG including Natasha, Fatima, Romy, Claire, Megan, Ashley, Deanne, Mary and Gaby went to Parktown Girl's High School for a trauma debriefing. This was following a recent suicide in the school. There were many questions related
specifically to shock, guilt and anger after a suicide. Questions included, 'Why would someone do that to their family?', 'How can such a happy, inspirational person take their life?' and 'Is it wrong to feel nothing?' The learners said they have a good support system of friends, teachers as well as school counsellors and an educational psychologist. The students shared their feelings openly and felt the debriefing was important for their healing.
Suicide Talk at Fumana Secondary School in Katlehong
On the 28th July 2010, a group of SADAG counsellors including Natasha, Khethi, Lungelo, Keitumetse, Lerato, Katia, Lindiwe, Ntombi and Thando presented the “Suicide Shouldn’t be a Secret” talk to all the Grade 10, Grade 11 and Grade 12 classes at the request of the principal, Mr Mkhwanazi, who is concerned about suicides and suicide attempts in the school. Face-to-face counselling was also offered to students needing it. Numerous students approached us for counselling with a diversity of problems. These ranged from, issues of pregnancy, physically and emotionally abusive step-parents, parents or family members, substance abuse as well as many others. Teachers also expressed their need for counselling as they are faced with not only the problems of their students but also with their own personal problems and were highly appreciative of SADAG's work.
New Support Groups
On the 22nd of July 2010, SADAG started a Depression, Anxiety and Trauma Support Group in Diepsloot. It was held in Diepsloot's Community Hall. The support group leader is Molly Kubayi and the facilitator was Natasha de Oliveira. There were problems ranging from depression and stress to the loss of a loved one. The topics that were covered within the first group meeting pertained specifically to what SADAG and support groups are all about as well as on the subject of depression. Each individual was given a handout on the power of support groups, the Depression Soul City book, and a Depression pamphlet in Zulu. SADAG's numbers were also given out together with pamphlets on Bronwan's and Ntombi's free counselling service in the Janssen Cilag Diepsloot Container Counselling Centre. The support group aims to empower individuals, to serve as an effective support system, as well as to educate the community. The group meets at the Diepsloot Community Hall, from 2pm - 4pm every Tuesday.
Secunda There is also a new group in Secunda run by social worker, Chantal, for Depression, Anxiety and Bipolar. The group, for patients and family members, meets once a month at the Highveld Social Services Centre. For details of times and venue, call Chantal on 017 631 2506.
Westville, Durban A new Depression and Anxiety support group in Westville has opened and is being run by Anne van Niekerk on a Monday evening at the HCF Westville. Please give Anne a call on 076 177 2778 to attend the next meeting.
Scottburgh A new trauma and depression support group is starting in Scottburgh. Dudu, who works at the trauma unit and does HIV and AIDS counselling will be running her group once a month at the G. T C Rookes Hospital in Scottburgh. The group will hold its first meeting on the 27 of August for victims and family members. Contact Dudu on 082 488 5754.
Latest online support
Mental Health America has launched the Mental Health America Support Community—a new online community that connects families, friends, and caregivers and provides safe, online health and wellness to help members live mentally healthier lives. Registration is free; upon joining, members will have complete control of their privacy options and can communicate with others in a safe, secure environment. Visit http://takeaction.mentalhealthamerica.net/site/R?i=eTYxZoQavhIYcnrZywnZgg
This will be helpful for patients unable to access therapy due to cost or location. There are also two teen blogs on the same site
It is always wonderful to receive letters of thanks from people we helped this month. We received one from Zithulele Hospital in Eastern Cape.
just a quick email to thank you for the speedy and efficient way SADAG dealt with my request for assistance and resources. I was called in no time at all and before I knew it brochures, information for groups and speaking books were in the post. I really appreciate the support that you provide in this way and have already used these resources in our setting. The service you provide is a very important and necessary one and I'd like to encourage you and your team as you have done for me and the team of therapists I work with. The work you do definitely does not go unnoticed! Good luck with all your future endeavours!
Thank you again, Jessica (Occupational Therapist)
Next month we will be telling you of the 25+ workshops around South Africa for World Mental Health Day on Trauma and PTSD. They will be on the 9th October, between 10am and 12 noon. If you are in a smaller community but believe you would like to host a meeting and show the Medihelp Trauma DVD, please be in touch with Emma on 011 262 6396 and she will give you all the information you may need.