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Quick Facts

  • One (1) in 5 South Africans suffers from a mental illness.
  • Mental illness is a medical condition that affects a person’s thinking, feelings, mood and ability to relate to others.
  • Mental illness affects people worldwide of all ages, genders, cultures and incomes.
  • Depression, Bi-Polar Mood Disorder and Schizophrenia are the more commonly known mental illnesses.
  • Depression is a serious condition that affects the mind, brain and body. It is a state of low moods and a loss of interest in activities and can be effectively treated with medication and therapy.
  • Twice the number of women are affected by depression than men. It is estimated that 1 in 5 women will experience an episode of depression during any given year.
  • Eight (8) out of 10 people will recover from depression completely with the appropriate treatment and support.
  • Bi-Polar Mood Disorder is characterised by extreme mood swings between depression and mania. Bipolar cannot be cured and ongoing treatment is needed to keep this condition under control.
  • Men and women are equally likely to develop this condition.
  • Twenty-seven (27) million people worldwide are estimated to have been affected by Bi-Polar Mood Disorder.
  • Schizophrenia affects an estimated 24 million people worldwide and has an enormous impact on people’s quality of life.
  • Schizophrenia is a mental disorder which involves a chemical imbalance in the brain that results in disturbances of thinking and feelings, disturbed and inappropriate emotions, and changes in behaviour.
  • There is no cure for Schizophrenia so the disorder must be managed on a daily basis with medication, education and rehabilitation.
  • Schizophrenia usually has its onset in early adolescence, early adulthood or late teens and there is an increased chance of developing Schizophrenia if other family members have the illness.
  • Drug and alcohol abuse can lead to a mental illness and mental illness can lead to alcohol and drug abuse.
  • In South Africa there are 23 suicides every day with 230 attempted suicide incidents.
  • Suicide in young people between 10 and 14 has doubled over the past 15 years.
  • Recovery from mental illness is possible with the necessary intervention and support.
  • Symptoms of mental illness can be effectively treated with medication and ongoing therapy.