Mental health in South Africa

2016-03-31 06:00

AS many as one in six South Africans suffer from anxiety, depression or substance-use problems (and this does not include more serious conditions such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia), according to statistics released by the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG). Furthermore, research reveals that over 40% of people living with HIV in South Africa have a diagnosable mental disorder.

A study done by UCT’s Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health indicates that, in low-income and informal settlements surrounding Cape Town, one in three women suffers from postnatal depression, while research from rural KwaZulu-Natal shows that 41% of pregnant women are depressed – more than three times higher than the prevalence in developed countries.

The primary burden of mental healthcare falls on community-based providers, says Chambers: “Clinics, support groups, even lay counsellors and community leaders are having to step in where institutionalised help is not available. Only 27% of South Africans reporting severe mental illness ever receive treatment. This means that nearly three-quarters of these sufferers are not accessing any form of mental health care at all.” - Supplied

Visit TherapyRoute.com to find counsellors, psychologists, social workers, community clinics, and other mental health professionals and services near you.

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