Teen Suicide Prevention Week – Feb 11 -14

February 2018

teen suicide

Teen Suicide Prevention Week

Next week is Teen Suicide Prevention Week (11-18 February 2018) and with 1 in 4 South African teens who have attempted suicide – it is crucial we create awareness around teen depression and suicide prevention.

More recently, we have seen reports in Press and Media of children as young as 6 years old who have committed suicide. This week there were reports of an 8 year old girl who died from suicide in Durban.

SADAG is focusing on raising awareness amongst teens, children, teachers, parents and communities to help prevent Teen Suicide.

Our “Teen Suicide Shouldn’t be a Secret” School Team will be visiting schools in Roodepoort and Centurion amongst others.
SADAG is hosting a FREE Online Facebook Friday chat on Friday, 16th Februarywith experts answering all questions on Teen Depression, warning signs and Suicide Prevention. See below for more details.
Click here for the Teen Suicide Prevention Posters advertising the Suicide Helpline number. Print it and put it up at your school, community, taxi rank, campus, workplace, church, etc. Or nominate a school and send their details to [email protected]
Go to www.sadag.org to see out ONLINE TOOLKIT which includes practical tips on what to say/not to say to a depressed teen, warning signs, etc. As well as online expert videos, adverts, posters and infographics of stats.
You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@The SADAG) for more info, posters and useful tips to help us #StopTeenSuicide
2018-02-08 16.14.32





Free Online Help for Teen Suicide Prevention Week #FacebookFriday

1 in 4 South African teens have attempted suicide. It is important for all parents, teachers & friends to know the warning signs of Teen Suicide, how to talk about Depression and how to get help. Join the #FacebookFriday Teen Suicide Prevention Online Q&A on the 16th February at 1pm – 2pm and again at 7pm – 8pm. Ask our experts, Educational Psychologist, Tshepiso Matentjie and Psychologist, Cindy Van Wyk, for advice, tips and how to help your teen. Click here for more information and like our Facebook Page: The South African Depression and Anxiety Group.

SADAG – Let’s Talk about Depression this World Health Day 7th April

who big

Let’s Talk about Depression this World Health Day 7th April

Poster 01

SADAG joins the Global Conversation

World Health Day is celebrated on the 7th of April to mark the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organisation. This year’s theme is “Depression: Let’s Talk”.
About 1 in 6 South Africans suffer from Depression – although only about a quarter of suffers ever seek or receive treatment. Depression is the leading cause of Suicide in South Africa, with 23 completed Suicides every day – and a further 460 attempted suicides every 24 hours.
It may not always be easy to tell the difference between a run-of-the-mill bad mood and Depression. If you have five or more of the symptoms below for most of the day, nearly every day, they persists for at least two weeks, and the symptoms are severe enough to interfere with your daily activities, you may have depression. Click here for more information.

whd Africa men at work
online video

Online Videos

Be on the look out for a variety of new and informative online videos that SADAG has made available. We have actress and ambassador, Lilian Dube talking about Depression. You will also be able to gain some vital information about how to manage your Depression from Clinical Psychologist, Zamo Mbele and gain better understanding of Depression in the Elderly from Psychiatrist, Dr Chabalala. There are useful videos on how to start and manage a Support Group from Lara and Shelagh, respectively. These videos will be available on our website, www.sadag.org on Friday the 7th April.


Facebook Online Chat – 7th April

SADAG is giving people throughout the country access to free help via our Facebook Online Q&A Chat #FacebookFriday on “Let’s Talk: Depression” this Friday, 7 April from 1 – 2pm with Psychologist Liane Lurie. She runs her own private practice based at Akeso in Parktown, Johannesburg. She works with individuals, families, children and adolescents and focuses on areas such as depression, bullying, anxiety, self-harm and eating disorders. We will have another chat again at 7-8pm with Psychologist, Linda Blokland, based at Weskoppies, her focus areas are Depression, Anxiety, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, Eating Disorders, Family Therapy and Relationships.
Join the chat and ask experts any questions that you have about Depression, its diagnosis, symptoms, treatment plans, how to speak to a loved one, what to do and where to get help. For more information about the chat click here or to go directly to our Facebook page click here. Facebook Users that would like to remain anonymous can send a private message with their questions as well as email their questions to [email protected] and SADAG will gladly ask the question on their behalf.


Twitter Chat at 1pm – 2pm

Focusing on this year’s theme for World Health Day “Let’s Talk: Depression” – SADAG is hosting a LIVE Tweet Chat. This is a live Twitter event, usually focused around a general topic and aligned with this year’s theme, we will be engaging with Twitter users who would like to ask questions and know more about Depression with experts sharing help, info & tools to help understand & cope with Depression. The chat will take place from 1pm – 2pm on Friday 7 April 2017, to join the conversation all you need to do is tweet during the designated time using the hashtag #DepressionZA and follow us on Twitter @TheSADAG.


Support Groups Workshops

SADAG has over 200 Support Groups nationwide, for mental health patients, as well as their loved ones, a place of warmth, understanding and support. Support Groups are run either by members who have experienced mental health issues, or professionals working in the community wanting to help others. These Support Groups allow members the opportunity to form connections with others who have experienced similar challenges. Running a Support Group is an incredibly rewarding experience and highlights the important role each of us can play in our community.

If you want to start your own Support Group, SADAG is hosting Support Group Leader Training Workshops in KwaZulu Natal and Western Cape on the 19th-21st April, and in the Eastern Cape in May. This training is to help train Leaders on how to get started and how SADAG can support them. If you are interested in starting your own Support Group, and want to learn more about it, please email Lara on [email protected].

Africa school

Let’s Talk Depression in Diepsloot

In Diepsloot where we have the free Counselling Container, we will be holding several activities. My Family Africa (NGO) are hosting a talk on Depression at a Support Group with Chronic illnesses on 5th April at 9am. A Depression Awareness Day is being hosted by the Community Policing Forum (CPF) on the 6th Aprilat the Diepsloot Mall at 10am. At 9am on the 6th April, Counsellors will be hosting a Depression Awareness Day for Nurses and patients at the O.R.Tambo Clinic in Extension 2. Also, don’t miss the talk on Depression with Support Group leader, Thuli, at the O.R. Tambo Clinic. There is a Community Dialogue on Depression at the Skills Centre in Extension 2, on the 7th April at 10am. Members from Youth Organisations such as Afrika Tikkun and Diepsloot Youth Projects are participating. Contact Anne or Lara on 0800 21 22 23 for more information.


For World Health Day we are highlighting Depression and destigmatizing Mental Health. SADAG offers free telephone counselling 7 days a week, and gives referrals nationwide.

20 Years of SADAG – Interview with Zane Wilson

How long have you been at the head of SADAG?

I started SADAG in 1994, at the encouragement of Prof Michael Berk, who was my psychiatrist. I had had massive Panic attacks for ten years without the right treatment, but when I got the treatment, (medication from the psychiatrist,) I became well within four weeks. It just goes to show what the right treatment can do for patients.
SADAG held its first meeting at Sandton Library on a Thursday morning and SADAG over filled the Sandton Library, at 11am.
I have been the founder from the beginning. Have a fabulous, small, active board who make quick decisions. Some have been with me for 18 years. Have a strong committed team of six staff.

What have been the biggest achievements for the organisation over the last 20 years?

  • SADAG fought to get Bipolar registered as a PMB
  • SADAG opened the first ever Counselling Container in Diepsloot, with over 200,000 people and two counsellors, subsequently SADAG has started 3 support groups, working in the clinics (2), have three schools SADAG are wo, king on in Suicide prevention, Bullying, Exam Stress, Substance Abuse, and work with the police station, churches, other stakeholders and the big local Diepsloot mall.
  • SADAG has trained just under a million children, teens, on Teen Suicide prevention and Depression. Class by Class and school by school. SADAG also train the teachers. All nine provinces and send 12 trainers for the day to each school. Leave three pieces of info for the youth, what symptoms to look out for; what are their local resources, what are our emergency numbers and contacts where SADAG can help them.

What is SADAG’s biggest focus at this current moment?

SADAG would like to further develop our partnerships with the Department of Health, and education, instead of doing a huge volume of work on their behalf with no recognition or support. SADAG would like to establish an ombudsman on Mental Health with toll free lines, to investigate drugs not being available, as they currently are not at Helen Joseph or Tara, or Eastern Cape

How would you change current practise to best serve the greater country in regards to mental health?

  • Put back psychiatric nurses in rural clinics, where they previously were. Give them more prescription writing permission in the more rural areas.
  • Put more beds in place for mental health particularly for children and youth.
  • Put all the interns and community psychologists in place in rural hospitals and clinics, not in the Johansseburg, Cape Town and Durban, etc.
  • Put more pilot counselling containers in place in rural large townships. They are economical, effective and build wonderful community relationships.

What does the future hold for the organisation and what do you hope achieve?

The organisation will continue to develop more support groups, currently SADAG has 200 groups, and they put in place community skills and access to better treatment is very important. SADAG are aiming for 300 in the next 3 years. SADAG need more brochures in various languages and funding for speaking books on Bipolar and Schizophrenia for rural communities, very hard topic to understand. These books can be distributed, played, and replayed by patients, family members, and community groups.