October is Mental Health Awareness Month in South Africa

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The aim of this awareness campaign is twofold: to educate people about mental health and to reduce the stigma and discrimination people with mental health issues often experience. 

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group estimates that as many as one in five people will, or does suffer from a mental illness in their lives.  Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse and job stress are common, and have a huge effect on the wider community.  

Even though many mental health problems can be treated at clinics and hospitals, very few South Africans with mental health problems  get the help they need. The Mental Health Care Act. Act 17 of 2002 states that mental health services should be provided as part of primary, secondary and tertiary health services.  In practice, this clearly does not always happen.

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