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Research on Depression in the Workplace.

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Mental Health Matters Journal for Psychiatrists & GP's

MHM Volume 8 Issue1

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Literacy is a luxury that many of us take for granted. That is why SADAG created SPEAKING BOOKS and revolutionized the way healthcare information is delivered to low literacy communities.

The customizable 16-page book, read by local celebrity audio recordings, ensures that vital health and social messages can be seen, heard, read and understood by everyone across the world.

We started with books on Teen Suicide prevention , HIV, AIDS and Depression, Understanding Mental Health and have developed over 100+ titles, such as TB, Malaria, Polio, Vaccines for over 45 countries.

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Teen Suicide 2017 Poster

It is Teen Suicide Prevention Week and this year SADAG is training teachers on how to identify teens at risk and intervene to save lives. Suicide touches everyone of all ages, socio-ecocomic groups, races, religions, and gender. The emotional toll on those left behind remains long after the event. Suicide is the leading cause of death in youth aged 15 – 29. In South Africa, suicide accounts for 9.5% of all unnatural teen deaths. The National Youth Risk Behaviour Survey 2011 shows that 17.6% of teens have considered attempting suicide, while 31.5% of teen suicide attempts required medical treatment.  

SADAG’s Operations Director, Cassey Chambers says, “Too many teens are taking their lives and more needs to be done to prevent this needless tragedy.” Teen suicide is a preventable tragedy – an issue that can only be solved through help and education. Teachers are in the perfect position to identify a teen at risk and reach out to them. While suicides rarely take place at school, 75% of people who commit suicide display warning signs first. SADAG knows that when teachers and schools are educated and made aware of the warning signs of learners in trouble – and have the knowledge to appropriately intervene, lives are saved.

The first line in preventing suicide is the promotion of learner well-being and resilience within a positive school environment. Children and teens are far more likely to come into contact with people who can help them at school than in any other environment. “Do not wait for your friend to start showing you the warning signs, that she is sad most if the time, cries a lot without consolation, feels terrible guilt for no reason and has a sense of emptiness. Do not wait for her to say that she cannot be happy anymore and is hopeless about the future. Do not wait for the warning signs, ask gently and listen carefully.” Says Clinical Psychologist, Zamo Mbele. Problems are more evident in a school setting and teachers have more face-time with learners than parents. This is why the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) is reaching out to schools.

SADAG in partnership with AKESO are hosting FREE Workshops on Saturday, 25 February 2017 from 09:00 – 11:00am, to raise awareness on Teen Suicide Prevention to help identify the symptoms of Depression, the warning signs of Suicide and how to get help. The workshop is open to parents, teachers, community leaders and those concerned about a loved one who is suicidal and would like to know more on Suicide Prevention. We are hosting these free workshops in Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal and Western Cape.

Also, join our Free Online #FacebookFriday Q&A chat on Friday, 24 February 2017 at 1pm with Clinical Psychologist, Zamo Mbele and again at 7pm with Psychologist, Candice Cowen. Both experts will be available for an hour to answer questions on Teen Depression, Preventing Suicide, recognizing various warning signs and where to seek help to prevent suicide.

School suicide prevention programmes that address Mental Health and coping skills in response to depression, anxiety, stress, bullying, aggression, substance abuse, sexual abuse and trauma are most likely to succeed in the long-term. SADAG’s programme creates a heightened awareness of suicide prevention; provides schools with available resources to help teens at risk and improve teachers’ and learners’ ability to cope. SADAG’s helpline can be reached 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm on 0800 567 567  or visit www.sadag.org.

Warning Signs:

•    A suddenly deteriorating academic or sport performance
•    Fixation on death
•    Unhealthy peer relationships
•    Volatile mood or a sudden change in personality
•    Risk-taking behaviours
•    Abusive or dysfunctional family environment
•    Eating disorder, self-harm
•    Bullying
•    Neglecting personal hygiene and appearance
•    Giving away prized possessions
•    Social isolation
•    Frequent absenteeism

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For more information and media requests please contact Tshego (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Sam (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) on 011 234 4837.


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