Sponsored by the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund
How are you feeling?
One in five South Africans will experience a mental illness in their lifetime. Sometimes it’s caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, but in a country like South Africa, where violence and crime are everyday occurences, mental illness may result from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), following exposure to a traumatic event or experience.
7 April 2013 was World Health Day
The South African Federation for Mental Health is gravely concerned about the constant pressure being placed on our nation’s mental well-being by all types of violence. Crime keeps people away from activities that they would normally have participated in, for fear of becoming a statistic, and leads to increased stress levels.
Following the much publicised murder cases of teen Anene Booysen and the girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius, Reeva Steenkamp, the media and citizens nationwide have been crying out to Government to ensure severe punishment of those individuals who are guilty of rape, violent abuse and murder – as well as to put measures into place to prevent these crimes from taking place.
South Africa has some of the highest incidences of child and baby rape in the world. Based on the premise put forward by the National Institute of Crime Rehabilitation that only one in twenty rapes are reported, the figure is over 494,000 a year. This means that on average approximately 1300 women can be expected to be raped every day.
Victims range from babies or toddlers to the elderly. Rape is often accompanied by severe violence and even murder. Psychological, emotional, physical and social effects include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, eating disorders, poor self-esteem, dissociative and anxiety disorders and disorders such as somatization, neurosis, chronic pain and behaviour problems including substance abuse (Arnow 2004).
Early symptoms of depression in rape and sexual abuse survivors may go unnoticed or be attributed to a normal period of re adjustment following the attack. Victims of rape, sexual abuse and sexual assault are included in one of the highest percentages of people who at some time do experience some form of depression.
The SA Federation for Mental Health is actively pursuing partnerships with relevant role players in the community, to help eliminate rape and other forms of violence.
If you suspect that you, or someone close to you, is suffering from a mental illness, please don’t hesitate to find help. The sooner you receive help, the sooner you will be able to recover and learn appropriate coping strategies to ensure that you stay well and can recognise warning signs of a potential relapse in future.
Click the map alongside to find your closest Mental Health Society. Or call us on 011 781 1852.
Don’t let mental illness control you. Choose to live fully and freely.There is hope and help for those who have mtnal illness. You can live a fulfilled, meaningful life.
(Comment Box usage: please leave your email address if you would like a response from SA Federation for Mental Health. Thank you.)
SAFMH speaks out against rape crisis
Following on from the News24.com report yesterday about an unidentified 13-year old girl who was raped, beaten and stabbed, the South African Federation for Mental Health expressed its grave concern.
No to rape
The vicious attack on 17-year old teenage girl Anene Booysen, causes us to question the state of wellness of society as a whole. It is a serious lack of values within society that allows something like this to occur.