It is estimated that around 30% of South Africans will suffer from mental disorders in their lifetime. Globally, however, more than 70% of people with a mental illness don’t receive treatment, with evidence showing that factors for delaying or avoiding treatment include a lack of knowledge around identifying symptoms and accessing treatment; prejudice against people with a mental illness; and subsequently the expectation of discrimination against people diagnosed with a mental illness.
With this in mind, Gugu Masondo founder of Mental Matters, launched this initiative aimed at educating South Africans on mental health and eradicating the stigma surrounding it in order to assist people to get the necessary help needed. Mental Matters, in partnership with Cipla, will be hosting a series of talks to educate the public about specific mental health-related issues.
The first event is on Saturday, 30 March, in Johannesburg and it focuses on how men are affected by mental health. Clinical psychologist, Sikander Kalla, Lecturer and Psychologist, Anele Siswana, and Emergency Medicine Medical Officer at Steve Biko Hospital, Dr. Amogelang Manganyi, will speak about topics ranging from personality disorders, substance abuse and depression, to masculinity and psychological health.
Men are four times more likely to die by suicide, which suggests that many of them suffer from undiagnosed mental health issues. Instances of undiagnosed depression are also substantially higher in men, and it has been shown that they seek mental health help far less than women.
Cipla’s Associate Director – Marketing in the portfolio, Central Nervous System, Wouter Lombard, says there is still a lot of education needed to destigmatise mental illness in South Africa. “This is why Cipla supports initiatives such as Mental Matters, to encourage every person suffering from a mental health condition to get the treatment they need. There is help out there and therefore no reason for someone to suffer in silence.”
The first Mental Matters session takes place on 30 March, 2019 at the Barnyard Theatre in Rivonia, Johannesburg. Tickets cost only R150 and seating is limited. Book your spot by sending an email to moc.liamg@23srettamlatnem
For more information on Mental Matters, visit the Cipla Facebook page. Alternatively, become part of the conversation on Twitter with the hashtags #ItsOKnotToBeOK, #DontLabelMe, and #MentalMatters.
Whether you want to help a friend suffering from a mental health condition, or need help yourself, you can call the CIPLA 24-hour mental health helpline on 0800 456 789 or WhatsApp 076 882 2775 for free counselling from a counsellor at SADAG - Africa’s largest mental health support and advocacy group.