For the longest time, South Africa has been a country facing a mental health crisis. With the coronavirus pandemic, this crisis has deepened as people are faced with greater uncertainty, sickness and death. Being under lockdown restrictions has meant people don’t have easy access to mental health resources. However there are some organisations and sites offering access to online counselling and mental health resources.
Read more: How To Access Free Counselling In SA
THE SOUTH AFRICAN DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY GROUP (SADAG)
SADAG is one of the country’s largest mental health support and advocacy groups. On their website they have an extensive list of information and resources around mental health. These include how to contact a counsellor, different telephone numbers for emergency lines and much more. One of their main objectives is to “establish support groups in as many areas as possible, so that everyone, no matter where they live, has access to support.”
During lockdown, they’ve put together many different support groups that work via Zoom or Whatsapp making accessing these resources easy. Find the full list of resources here. Their website also has a chat bot live online counselling.
Lifeline offers free and confidential counselling via a 24-hour telephonic line. For frontline workers and the community in need of counselling support, they have a Whatsapp number to book a counselling session. There is also a tab on their website which can be used to book counselling. If you are in need of help you can call their 24 hr line on 0861 322 322 or 011 728 1347. More information is available here.
The organisation also adapted their services to deal with the lockdown and pandemic. They offer Zoom and Whatsapp video call counselling. New counsellors are trained via Zoom and they’ve developed useful numbers for clients to get support of a practical nature.
This is a useful website that will contact you with the nearest psychotherapists, counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, and mental health clinics. Using this you can find the closest mental health services to seek assistance whether it’s online or offline – provided in a safe environment. The director caters for any preferences in terms of the service required, location and language. Find out more here.
THE COUNSELLING HUB
Based in Cape Town, the Counselling Hub provides a low-cost counselling service that supports individuals in facing their life challenges. They provide tele-counselling as well as online counselling support groups. More information can be found here.
From last year, Twitter has partnered with local organisations in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa to support “Mental Health Work”. This initiative makes it easier for people in need to find support resources online. When someone searches for terms associated with suicide or self-harm on #Twitter, the top search result will be a prompt encouraging them to reach out for help. The notification includes the contact details of a local NGO that provides critical mental health resources to people in need. For South Africa, it is SADAG. Find out more here.
QWC Health is a wellness centre that aims to provide healthcare for the LGBTQI+ community in South Africa. They offer online and in-person counselling sessions with a psychologist. The one-hour sessions which are charged medical aid rates can be booked online. More information is available here.
OTHER HELPFUL DETAILS
Cipla SADAG Mental Health Line: 0800 4567 789 or WhatsApp 076 88 22 775
For a suicidal Emergency: 0800 567 567
Destiny Helpline for Youth & Students: 0800 41 42 43
ADHD Helpline: 0800 55 44 33
Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Line 24hr helpline: 0800 12 13 14
Many communities have put together groups of people who will help those affected by COVID-19. They’ve started projects that provide food to those who need it most and are ill with the virus. They have also put together a roster of doctors and other medical professionals who can assist including mental health experts. If your area provides these services, it can usually be found out through community leaders or the community social media groups.
Are we missing out on any resources? Please let us know. Comment below or tweet us @thedailyvox