Did you know that depression is still the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide? Latest estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that more than 300 million people are living with depression, which is an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015.
Stigma still attached to depression
The WHO cites a lack of support for people with mental disorders, combined with a fear of stigma, as preventing people from getting the treatment they need.
The overall goal of the year-long campaign “Depression: let’s talk” was that more people with depression get the help they need.
“These new figures are a wake-up call for all countries to re-think their approaches to mental health and to treat it with the urgency that it deserves,” said WHO director-general Dr Margaret Chan.
“The continuing stigma associated with mental illness was the reason why we decided to name our campaign ‘Depression: let’s talk’,” said Dr Shekhar Saxena, director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO.
“For someone living with depression, talking to a person they trust is often the first step towards treatment and recovery.”
Depression in South Africa
According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), about 20% of South Africans will experience a depressive disorder at least once in their lifetime. Fortunately depression is a treatable condition and between 80 and 90% of people have a good response to treatment.
Contact SADAG if you need any support:
• Fnd a Support Group in your area – 0800 21 22 23
• Suicide Crisis Line – 0800 567 567
• SADAG Mental Health Line – 011 234 4837
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