1 in 5 South Africans suffers from mental illness

Millions of South Africans live with mental illness and yet the majority of them go undiagnosed or uncared for.

Here are nine alarming facts that you should know about mental illness:

  • One in five South Africans will or does suffer from a mental illness.
  • About 35 to 41% of mothers will suffer depression during pregnancy or post-natally, more than three times the number than in higher income countries.
  • About 40% of people living with HIV have a diagnosable mental disorder.
  • 22 people commit suicide every day.
  • 220 people attempt to kill themselves every 24 hours.
  • One in five adults suffer from anxiety, depression or substance abuse.
  • About 17% of children and teenagers in the Western Cape have mental health condition.
  • Up to 25% if adults could be suffering from undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • At least two out of every 100 children suffer from depression.

Do you need help? Phone the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) helpline on 011 262 6396 or  0800 567 567; the Lifeline helpline on 0861 322 322; or ask Health24's CyberShrink a question. 

 - (Health24, August 2012)

Read more:

Myths and facts about mental illness
Living with mental illness
A healthy mind

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