October 15 will kick start an awareness drive about mental health with an advocacy walk and information campaign, hosted by the KZN Mental Health Advocacy Group on Durban’s beachfront.
This takes place on Sunday, October 15, 2017, from 9am until 12pm. It is a free, public event starting at the North Beach Amphitheatre opposite the Elangeni Hotel, bringing together the mental health sector in Durban.
Coordinator, Suntosh Pillay, says this is about bringing people together for a common purpose.
“We’re following on the success of last year, where hundreds of people arrived, proving that these projects are really needed. There is no health without mental health; everybody is affected by friends or family who are depressed, anxious, abusing drugs, or suicidal, or struggling to move past the death of a loved one or leave an abusive relationship. Stigma prevents people from seeking help, so we are hoping that an event out in the open, literally under the sun, will encourage dialogue and the freedom to ask for help,” says Pillay.
The mental health advocacy group is an initiative of the clinical psychology and psychiatry departments at King Dinuzulu Hospital Complex and is supported by the KZN Department of Health and the private, public, and non-profit sector. Dozens of health professionals and organizations will be present to answer questions and do free health screenings for the public.
Co-organizer, Dr Suvira Ramlall, a specialist psychiatrist, says mental well-being is fundamental to the quality of life and productivity. “Mental health activities enhance peoples’ well-being and functioning by focusing on their strengths and resources, reinforcing resilience, reducing risks and enhancing protective factors, for individuals, families, communities and nations, enabling people to experience life as meaningful and to be creative and active citizens,” says Ramlall. “Walking has many proven health benefits, boosting your mood and immune system.”
For more information, or organizations who want to host a stand or people who want to pre-register for the walk can email MHadvocacygroup@gmail.com or call 0312426180/4.