Mental Health Awareness Month comes this October at a time when people across the world are being challenged to cope with the constant changes and unforeseen negative impacts wrought by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The focus of this dedicated month is to educate the public about mental health, in order to help reduce the significant stigma with which those living with a mental illness constantly grapple. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in four people globally will be affected by mental disorders, and approximately 450 million people suffer from one or more mental health condition.
The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) reports that as many as one in six South Africans experienced anxiety, depression or substance abuse in 2019. While this number does not account for conditions such as bipolar or schizophrenia, more recent figures found that 33% of adults were depressed, 45% were fearful, and 29% were lonely due to the COVID-19 lockdowns.
This October, you can easily support these organisations, with the simple swipe of your MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card:
- Cape Mental Health
As one of the oldest mental health organisations in South Africa, Cape Mental Health has been involved in groundbreaking work for the past 107 years, specifically in under-resourced communities. The institution has 24 different projects and programmes focused on promoting, facilitating and providing mental healthcare services through counselling, support and rehabilitation.
- Home-Start South Africa
Home-Start is focused on early interventions at an individual level. The organisation offers families and children support, friendship and practical guidance that includes parent effectiveness training, bereavement counselling and play therapy. In addition to donations and fundraising, Home-Start also accepts help from volunteers.
- South African Federation for Mental Health (SAFMH)
Another organisation that’s been around for a century, SAFMH advocates and promotes community mental healthcare and deinstitutionalisation by engaging with government and other mental health stakeholders. The Federation has 17 constituent bodies across all nine provinces that work independently to deliver essential frontline mental health services to communities.
Support these and other organisations aimed at helping people who are living with mental illnesses by swiping your MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet or linked card every time you shop at Woolworths, Bidvest Waltons, Loot.co.za, Builders and other stores. Sign up for a free card at myschool.co.za or download the App, and select up to three beneficiaries to support. Each time you shop, a donation will be made on your behalf – at no additional cost to you.