By Reon Janse van Rensburg
For most of us, the festive season is the time of year that we look forward to with great excitement. However, this is not the case for everyone and due to various factors such as people who have to spend Christmas time alone as well as those who are already struggling with depression and anxiety, the festive season is an extremely difficult time when negative emotions get the upper hand and can push people over the edge.
It is not unheard of or unusual as most people end this year with mixed feelings. The majority of us are angry after the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, which left us with great uncertainty about the future and which caused numerous employees to experience burnout.
However, there is good news. If you show symptoms of depression, anxiety or have similar symptoms, know that you are not alone and that help is available and can easily be accessed.
The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) has compiled a list of guidelines that you, or someone close to you, can call when the pressure associated with the festive season becomes too much.
These helplines provide instant access to confidential, free and anonymous support and advice, so print out these phone numbers and keep them somewhere, or save them on your phone for easy access.
Remember, no one has to suffer in silence – help is at hand! The stigma surrounding mental health should not prevent anyone from seeking help. On the contrary, it is the best decision you can make to enjoy a good healthy mental state again.
Feel free to use the following guidelines or send it to a person who may need help:
SADAG: Mental health helpline:
011 234 4837
SADAG: Suicide crisis helpline:
0800 567 567
Destiny: Helpline for the youth and students:
0800 41 42 43
Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Line:
0800 12 13 14
Adcock Ingram: Depression and Anxiety Helpline
0800 70 80 90
Pharmadynamics: Police and Trauma Line:
0800 20 50 26
Akeso Psychiatric Hospital’s 24-Hour Emergency Response Unit:
0861 435 787
0800 55 44 33
Do not lose heart. There is hope. Grab it!