SA facing a mental health crisis says Kena Health

  • Kena Health is highlighting the value of its haelthcare app this Mental Health Awareness Month in South Africa.
  • South Africans are seen as being particularly susceptible to the effects of poor mental health.
  • The Kena Health app touts affordability, privacy, and ease of access via a smartphone app.

October is recognised as Mental Health Awareness Month in South Africa, with 10th October also being World Mental Health Awareness Day. With that in mind, Kena Health is reminding South Africans of its smartphone app, which aims to make access to healthcare more affordable.

This is a subject matter that has come into sharper focus in recent years, but still many South Africans simply do not seek the help they need in order to address it.

Citing a recent study by the University of Witwatersrand finding that South Africans suffer from higher rates of anxiety than other countries at 25 percent, Kena Health notes that SA ranks in the bottom five across the globe when it comes to dealing with mental health.

“South Africans are particularly susceptible to poor mental health because we live in a violent society with high levels of unemployment, as well as the legacy of racism, which includes familial breakdown caused in large part by the migrant labour system,” points out Iyanda Nyoni, a registered counsellor at Kena Health.

“The result of these societal pressures is high levels of psychological distress, manifesting as an inability to cope with daily stressors, depression, anxiety and even escalating to suicide,” she adds in a release sent to Hypertext.

Using information from the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), the most notable symptoms of depression include: 

  • “Depressed mood and feeling down and sad all the time. This can often present as irritability, agitation or anger (in children, adolescents and men).
  • Inability to enjoy activities or hobbies previously found to be enjoyable.
  • Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness. 
  • Feelings of guilt or low self-worth. 
  • Fatigue or loss of energy. 
  • Restless or irritable. 
  • Changes in eating habits and/ or weight. 
  • Inability to sleep or excessive sleepiness. 
  • Difficulty making decisions or concentrating. 
  • Withdrawing from friends and family. 
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.”

Punting the benefits of its own app, Kena Health believes the smartphone interface holds many advantages, including its ease of use and access, as well as the fact that it affords an increased level of privacy, which is often a factor in people choosing not to seek help if dealing with potential mental health issues.

“The most important thing is to identify the signs of depression and then seek help. If left untreated, mental health conditions can escalate with dire consequences for the individual concerned, his or her family and colleagues, society and the economy,” continued Nyomi.

To find out more about Kena Health, head here

[Image – Photo by Joshua Fuller on Unsplash]


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