The Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) joins the various mental health organisations around the world in commemorating World Mental Health Day on Thursday 10 October. With the multiple sources of stress, trauma and vulnerabilities in South Africa and our continent, we are acutely aware of the mental health issues affecting our communities.
The theme for World Mental Health Day 2019 is ‘Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention’. We believe that these two facets form the fundamental pillars in mental health care, and that public health approaches must strive towards reaching these crucial goals. To this end we must use every opportunity to promote positive mental health and reduce stigma. It is also critical that we seek to reduce, discourage, and ultimately prevent all forms of self-harm, suicide ideation and self-destructive behaviours. The inclusion of mental health topics in school curricula is important. The more we help children develop a basic knowledge of mental health problems and services, the more likely they will be to access resources should they or significant others require help at a later stage.
As professional organisations and civil society we must seek to use every social space, group and interpersonal context to spread these messages, while alerting the public to mental health problems, their treatability and the various mental health care services and resources that are available. PsySSA encourages discourse and the dissemination of mental health information in schools, tertiary education facilities, work environments, religious and civic groups, and all possible gatherings – because nobody is immune to mental health problems.
The Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA)