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“Depression took my dad’s life — we must talk about mental health,” Mrs SA contestant.

 

Johannesburg, South Africa (23 June 2021) – A Mrs SA semi-finalist, whose golf champion father took his own life four years ago, has spoken out for the first time about the agonising ordeal in a bid to help break the stigma around mental illness and to urge those struggling with stress, anxiety and depression to reach out for help immediately.

Mother, entrepreneur and social activist Chane Todd, 31, has broken her silence about her world-famous father, golfing champion, Wayne Westner, who died at 55 after battling depression for years. Westner won 14 pro titles, excelled on the European tour, and was about to conduct work with the PGA when he took his life.

“My father was a champion both on and off the golf course. It’s excruciating to think that such a successful man was fighting such deep demons. This is how powerful mental illness is. It can affect anyone. My dad’s passing broke our hearts, and I don’t want other families to go through the same thing,” she said.

“Had he sought help, things may have been different. When depression overcomes us, we may feel vulnerable with no way out. We simply must seek professional help immediately. Reaching out may not only save lives but could also be life-changing for the better,” she said.

“We’re living isolated lives due to the pandemic. It affects us all emotionally and mentally. We must invest in self-love and self-care, especially during these times. This includes sharing our struggles with friends and family and taking the best possible care of our own health.”

Todd shared how her father had written that negative thoughts and emotions consumed him in his final letter.

“If only he had reached out. There is a stigma associated with depression and poor mental health. I desperately want to help break the stigma and get people talking about this disease, affecting around one in six South Africans.

“My dad’s family had a history of mental illness, but we were unaware of the severity of his condition. He told us he was managing when in fact, he had slipped into a deep depression and was contemplating ending his life. His mental well-being was no longer at the top of his mind. We realised this when it was too late.”

Todd, who competes for the Mrs SA title later this year, urged the public to talk about mental well-being and to seek help from groups such as the SA Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) by calling 0800-567-567 or (011) 234-4837 or asking a mental health professional for help.

“Asking for help can save lives. I urge the public struggling with this illness to reach out now!”


Sources: Chane Todd
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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