COVID & mental health: 1 in every 5 daily calls related to suicide - SADAG

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) said more people had reached out for help since the start of the year.

FILE: It hosted a webinar on Wednesday as the country marks Mental Health Awareness Month. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - Experts have again pointed to the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason why mental health issues are on the rise.

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) said more people had reached out for help since the start of the year.

It hosted a webinar on Wednesday as the country marks Mental Health Awareness Month.

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SADAG's helplines have taken more than 466,000 calls since January.

That's between 1,800 and 2,200 daily, with one in every five calls related to suicide.

Clinical Psychologist Professor Crick Lund said the COVID-19 pandemic had raised anxiety and stress due to the threat of illness or loved ones lost.

“A lot of fear, a lot of sadness and losses. So, there is that very direct impact from the pandemic and what it does to everyone in terms of job security and emotional wellbeing.”

Lund said it was important that government gave adequate attention to mental health.

If you are experiencing any mental health problems, please contact the SADAG helpline on 0800 576 576.

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