South African Depression and Anxiety Group
Photo Credit: South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG)

‘Guardians of Hope’ from the South African Depression and Anxiety Group are more than a phone call away; their heroes are heading into schools to make mental health support super accessible! Here’s more on why the SADAG is not just a helpline:


South Africa (24 October 2023) — Mental Health Awareness Month may be nearing an end, but the same can’t be said for the mental health challenges that impact all kinds of South Africans. This is why the people who work year-round in mental health spheres and at institutions like the South African Depression and Anxiety Group play such an important, public role in putting the ‘health’ in mental health.

Access to help is one of the most important avenues in any mental health journey. Sadly though, for many young people who are more susceptible to being influenced by their circumstances and adults who might not understand the importance of mental health support, finding help can feel like a losing battle.

Cue the SADAG’s unsung heroes and unofficial guardians of hope.

Where many might incorrectly assume that the SADAG is the 911 helpline equivalent for dire situations, it actually houses a wealth of resources, volunteers and counsellors who stand as the frontline of defence for a myriad of challenges and severity scopes beyond anxiety and depression alone.

Some other areas of their focus include panic disorders, trauma, eating disorders, ADHD (Attenion-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).

In the plight of young South Africans and students who might feel too afraid to contact them, the SADAG’s School Outreach programme takes a ‘water to the horse’ approach. Here, ScOut counsellors go into schools across the country to provide both students and staff members with more knowledge about mental health challenges; identifying worrying signs and reducing stigmatising narratives.

They also pride themselves as purveyors of personalised support because no two mental health journeys are the same. This is essential in a society where public support is often accused of offering cookie-cutter solutions.

Beyond their own expertise, these counsellors also connect students to external mental health resources to ensure they receive the best help they need beyond the school environment as SADAG’s Roshni Parbhoo explains.

“SADAG’s ScOut Team are the unsung heroes in the battle against youth suicide. Their multifaceted role extends far beyond traditional counselling, encompassing education, crisis intervention, and community building. They provide hope, support, and a path to healing for students facing mental health challenges. Their importance cannot be overstated in a world where the mental well-being of our youth is a paramount concern.”—Roshni Parbhoo.

For more information on all the South African Support and Anxiety Group does (including toolkits, support groups and important contact details), visit them here.

Sources: Roshni Parbhoo/SADAG 
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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