Supporting the Mental Health of South African NPO's


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Mental Health Information


What is Depression?

Depression is a “whole-body” illness, involving your body, mood and thoughts. It affects the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you think about things. Depression is not the same as just feeling ‘’down’’ or ‘’blue’’. Symptoms of Depression can include persistent sad, or “empty” mood, loss of interest/pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, feelings of hopelessness, feelings of helplessness, insomnia or hypersomnia, appetite loss/ increase or weight loss/weight gain. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. People with Depression cannot merely “pull themselves together” and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people who suffer from Depression.

Self-help for Depression:

  • Make sure to get up out of bed and dress every day, even if you are not doing anything else. Staying in bed all day will make you feel even worse.
  • Get adequate sleep. Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning.
  • Establish a routine that is easy to follow and not stressful. This will keep you engaged with reality, help you to cope and get through the tough days.
  • Make sure you eat a balanced diet. If you lack an appetite, eat small snacks rather than large meals.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs or medications that have not been prescribed to you. They may interfere with your medications or make your Depression worse.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Keep a journal and write your feelings down. This will help put things into perspective.
  • Let your family and friends help you and surround yourself with positive influences, avoid negativity.
  • Try to share your feelings with someone.

Be patient and kind to yourself. Remember that Depression is not your fault and is not something you can overcome with willpower alone.


If you need more Mental Health self-help or information on Mental Health, please click here

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