Let’s Talk About It

Bestmed Breaks the Silence on Mental Health Disorders

Jim Carrey, Beyonce, Trevor Noah, Bonnie Mbuli… These are among the many great entertainers that are loved and admired across the world. In addition to their success, they have another thing in common: they all suffer from a mental disorder.

Mental Health in South Africa

Mental health disorders are common. According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) one third of our population suffers from a mental illness, ranging from depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety to schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and more.

SADAG also says that despite mental disorders being one of the most well-known causes of suicide, more than 75% of mental health patients won’t receive the treatment they need. Further stigmas and discrimination against families and people with mental disorders also prevent people from seeking the mental healthcare they need.

What Can We Do?

Mental health affects nearly everyone — whether you’re living with a mental health condition, care about someone who does, or just want to get more involved — and there are many ways you can help

  • Educate yourself: You can learn more by attending a course, engaging in meetings, discussing with a mental health professional, or researching reputable online sources.
  • Start a discussion: Conversations are an opportunity for you to learn and share your knowledge. This may include finding an active mental health meeting in your community, or starting one of your own.
  • Learn the signs: Mental illness can take many forms and therefore be hard to identify. Understanding the warning signs and how you can help your loved one cope once they receive a diagnosis will help decrease the number of people who suffer in silence without advocates.
  • Stop the stigma: There are many myths about mental health. You can help dispel the stigmas by being mindful of perpetuating stereotypes, devaluing others, and sharing inaccurate information.

Bestmed Moves for Mental Health

With a strong commitment to mental wellbeing, Bestmed is partnering with the University of Freestate’s (UFS) Organisational Development and Employee Wellness unit in encouraging open conversation surrounding mental health. Beyond just sponsoring the event, 24 Bestmed staff members are taking a step further in their support of the cause. From 20 to 26 September, our athletes will take part in a continuous run from UFS’s main campus in Bloemfontein to Stellenbosch. The relay will comprise of various team members running in 8-hour time slots in order to complete the challenging race. Information on mental health will be distributed to people en route and medical practitioners will be contacted as part of this mental health campaign.

Start exercising your right to spread mental health awareness by finding out how you can support the cause. 

For more information on mental health assistance and benefits, call us on 0860 002 378, or email service@bestmed.co.za

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