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‘Mental health should be as important as physical health’

The Western Cape Health Department says 184 adolescents were admitted for in-patient treatment at health facilities from April 2017 until March 2018.

Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - As the World marks Mental Health Day, non-profit organisation Cape Mental Health has stressed the importance of breaking down stereotypes.

The Western Cape Health Department says 184 adolescents were admitted for in-patient treatment at health facilities from April 2017 until March 2018.

The average age of patients is 15.

Forty-two percent were admitted with accompanying drug conditions.

Cape Mental Health’s Dylan Oktober said: “It’s particularly important that we highlight the utmost importance of your mental health. And that without regarding your mental health as important as looking after your physical health, holistically speaking as a person, it’s one component of you but you can’t also neglect it in that sense.”

WATCH: Giving up hope: My suicide confession

The South African Anxiety and Depression Group (Sadag) says companies should talk about mental health in order to create spaces for employees to speak openly about any illness.

A Sadag study shows one out of four employees suffers from a mental health disorder.

The organisation's Cassey Chambers says employees are afraid to speak about their conditions due to stigmatisation.

“From the study that we did last year, over 69% of people felt like their managers had responded negatively when they did disclose their mental illness, which I think affects people coming out.”

If this article has raised issues for you or if you’re concerned about someone you know, call the South African Depression and Anxiety Group’s Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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