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Mental Health Matters Journal for Psychiatrists & GP's

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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

Launches 1st July till end of year Baby Jake and Lillian Dube, take a powerful stand on mental health

Patients countrywide, will have access to a series of informative Radio adverts which have been launched by the South African Depression and Anxiety group, starting on Thursday to coincide with Mental Health Month and their work in rural parts of the Northern Cape, North Western Province and Limpopo.

Destigmatising mental health problems and encouraging patients to come forward for treatment is the idea behind the five illnesses highlighted on 5 different 60 second adverts. From De Aar to Ganyesa, From Vredenburg to Thoyandou, from Evander to Somerset West the message will be heard.

Says Zane Wilson the Director "People in outlying areas don't understand that these are real illnesses

and are treatable relatively simply these days. Often rural communities live in fear of Mental Health problems and families are deeply stigmatised by having members with symptoms of these illnesses"

The topics covered are Depression, which over 10% of all South Africans will suffer from this year and

9% of all teen deaths will be due to Suicide this year alone.

Bipolar Disorder(Previously called Manic Depression, this illness is of absolute highs and lows of mood,where a patient on a Manic high may spend outrageously, talk fast, stay up all night and have the terrible lows of depression sometimes within the same week.

Trauma (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is very prevalent in South Africa, due to hijacking, violence, Car accidents, Sexual abuse.),

Panic Attacks(which are extreme feelings of anxiety and fear which if left untreated can become

Agoraphobia), and

Social Phobia ( an absolute fear of embarrassing oneself in public, whether, public speaking, eating in a restaurant, writing in public often wrongly perceived as severe shyness)

In each case, in just one minute, the adverts explore the illness its symptoms and treatment options,

Contact details are given for patients to contact SADAG's toll free number and its website 0800 567 567 ,

One of the highlights are that they have been recorded in four different languages. Personalities such as Lillian dube, Baby Jake and the recording studio Sterling Sound donated their time and expertise to make it possible for patients around the country on over 24 Radio stations in English, Sotho, Zulu, and Afrikaans to learn more about these problems and how to access help easily.

Said Lillian Dube," Patients in rural areas are often not aware that they can get help at their local clinics or support groups. Lillian who has supported the "Mental Health Matters " message for the last four years, has spoken at schools, churches, social workers and clinics to make people realise that help is available and how to contact the groups in their area.Having been affected by severe depression herself, she tells women particularly that it is not a sign of weakness to speak out and ask for help.The breakdown of family life, together with high levels of poverty, unemployment and increased drug and alcohol use has had a negative effect on people's mental health. "

Concluded Zane Wilson, "Through high profile personalities coming forward to talk on Mental health issues, we hope that we can get basic help to patients, South Africa only has 320 psychiatrists for 44 Million people, of which only 79 serve the countries approx 36 million people without a medical Aid who need to access help through government clinics and hospitals.The recent Youth Risk Behaviour Survey points to unacceptable levels of depression among young people, which can also be severely aggravated by substance abuse. HIV and AIDS are also adding to the burden that many families have to bear with its impact also on Stigma.

For further information contact Zane Wilson on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Julia Zacharis 084 440 4760 or (011) 783 1474


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