Mental Health – Something to think about - Medshield

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Mental Health – Something to think about

Posted in Medshield Wellness   |   March 4th, 2019

Recently Mental Health has received much publicity and scrutiny in South Africa due to the Life Esidimeni tragedy and the passing of both UCT Professor Bongani Mayoi, and SA Hip Hop and Award Winning Artist HHP (Hip Hop Pantsula), who suffered from depression. There have been many promises and plans developed to address underdiagnoses, the stigma related to Mental Health disorders, the poor access to mental health care, access to medication, assessment and support.

Although October is Mental Health Awareness and the 10th of October is World Mental Health Day, at Medshield we believe that Mental health should be acknowledged on a daily basis. These are two of the most important occasions for people with mental illnesses and mental disorders as they serve to draw attention to the challenges faced.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines Mental Health as a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his/her community.

The South African Department of Health indicates that an estimated 400 million people worldwide suffer from mental or neurological disorders or from psychosocial problems (including disorders related to alcohol and drug abuse).

Additionally, SADAG (the South African Depression and Anxiety Group) estimates that 1 in 3 people in South Africa will experience a mental illness in their lifetime, and 23 people commit suicide each day. With so many of us affected by mental health conditions in one way or another, it is vital that we have open and honest conversations. Education is the only way we can stop the stigma that still silences so many.

Most Common Types of Mental health Disorders

  • Clinical depression: A mental health disorder characterised by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.
  • Anxiety disorder: A mental health disorder characterised by feelings of worry, anxiety or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities.
  • Anxiety disorder: A mental health disorder characterised by feelings of worry, anxiety or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities.
  • Bipolar disorder: A disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs.
  • Schizophrenia: A group of thinking and social symptoms that interferes with daily functioning.
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder:A chronic condition including attention difficulty, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
  • Dementia: A group of thinking and social symptoms that interferes with daily functioning
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder: Excessive thoughts (obsessions) that lead to repetitive behaviours (compulsion).
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder: A disorder characterised by failure to recover after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying

The Mental Health of the South African Youth

Imagine growing up in our world today. Constantly battling the effects of human rights violations, road rage, violence in schools and in the home, and businesses. Lots of young people are spending most of their day on the internet – experiencing cyber-crimes, cyber bullying, and playing violent video games. Suicide and substance abuse numbers have been steadily rising and LGBTQ youth are feeling alone and persecuted for being true to themselves. Young adults are at the age when serious mental illnesses can occur and yet they are taught little to nothing about mental health – SAFMH

WHO estimates that 10%-20% of all children and adolescents have some type of mental illness, with 50% of these disorders occurring by the age of 14 years. The WHO further cites neuropsychiatric conditions as the worldwide leading cause of disability in young persons, and highlights that these young people face challenges with both education and health care as well as social challenges in terms of discrimination, isolation and stigma.

With the world quite literally at their fingertips, young people can locate just about anything that is of interest to them through the internet. The negative side, however, is that for all the valuable resources out there, there is also a great deal of false information on the internet, which can lead to poor decision-making on the part of the young person, confusion, despair and can perpetuate stigma on the part of the young person.

Mental Health – Stigma in the South African Workplace

SADAG’s 2017 Stigma in the Workplace research indicated that 61% of workers had disclosed their Mental Health disorder to their manager, with 69% of respondents experiencing negative or no response during the discussion. Interestingly, 44% of the respondents indicated that they were uncomfortable with disclosing their Mental Health issue to a manager, which callers often express when they call the SADAG helpline looking for advice or help. While 29% indicated that they had not told anyone yet about their Mental Health issue, only 16% of those who had disclosed had felt comfortable with discussing their Mental Health problems with their manager or supervisor.

Further the survey suggests that 86% of respondents said having a mental health disorder had made their work life more difficult and impacts directly on their abilities to cope. While 16% of participants had not received a formal diagnosis by a Mental Health professional, 46% had consulted with both a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist. Yet, a majority of 56% indicated that they had taken time off work over the last 12 months due to their Mental Health disorder. The SADAG study cited a number of reasons why respondents had refrained from consulting with a professional, with the main reason being personal finances, limited resources and no medical aid.

Medshield cares for members’ Mental Health

Each of Medshield’s 7 Benefit options has a liberal Mental Health In-Hospital benefit. Depending on the benefit option chosen, the Out-of-Hospital Mental Health medicine benefits either accumulates to an ample Chronic Medicine benefit or is option specific.

Additionally, Medshield provides its members with education and information when they join the Scheme’s disease management programme. A care manager who is trained to provide members with the specific support they require is assigned to the member to review their treatment plan and to provide practical and professional advice on how to improve their quality of life.

Medshield Member Mental Health Statistics

  • 5 758 (3.5%) of Medshield members are registered for Mental Health Disease Management
  • 75% of these are Depression related
  • R47 million paid in Mental Health benefits for Jan-July 2018
  • 70% of the spend was reimbursed to Mental Health Institutions, Clinical Psychologists and Psychiatrists

There is no need to try to manage your Mental Health disorder on your own – you are sure to find one of the Medshield Benefit options that will suit your pocket. And with the additional assistance provided through the Disease management programme, you will soon love life once again.

Source:

http:/www.sadag.org

http:/www.safmh.org.za

https://www.health24.com/Mental-Health
http://www.stassa.gov.za
http://africacheck.org/report/do-a-third-of-south-africans-really-suffer-from-mental-illness
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