Addressing mental illness in African communities

Our Lived Experience

In an attempt to break the stigma surrounding mental health, particularly in seniors, the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag), together with Aspen Pharmacare, held a Mental Health Awareness Day in Diepsloot in the north of Johannesburg last week.

Speaking at the event, Anne Rajcoomar, Sadag project co-ordinator for rural and outreach projects, explained that contrary to popular belief, schizophrenia is not a split personality, but rather a mental illness characterised by abnormal social behaviour and is often difficult to treat.

According to Rajcoomar, when it came to mental disorders there was still a stigma attached to it in the African community,Fourways Review reported.

She said a lot of it had to do with cultural and tribal beliefs.

“In many African communities, symptoms of a person who had the calling [sangoma calling] were very similar to symptoms of schizophrenia, resulting in many people living [with the disease] without being diagnosed,”…

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Posted on November 6, 2015, in Update. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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