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“What have you done to prevent it?” – SASOPs program on human rights for people with mental illness

The South African Society of Psychiatrists (SASOP), in partnership with: the German Association for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics (DGPPN); local advocacy groups such as South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), the South African federation of Mental Health (SAFMH), SECTION27, the Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP); as well as the University of the Witwatersrand’s (WITS) Adler Museum and Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics (SBCB); and the University of Pretoria’s (UP) Centre for Ethics and Philosophy of Health Sciences, has recently embarked on a program “Human Rights for People with Mental Illness”. The program consists of discussions and presentations in different cities - Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town, as well as the travelling exhibition of the DGPPN, entitled "Registered, Persecuted, Annihilated - The Sick and the Disabled under National Socialism". The main aim with these discussions is to explore the role of professional societies and individual clinicians to uphold and protect the human rights of people living with mental illness. The DGPPN's activities and the exhibition in this regard, is an example of a professional society’s engagement in this area of work and forms a backdrop for the discussion of the local South African situation and context.

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Prof BONGANI MAYOSI, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT

The South African Society of Psychiatrists (SASOP) wants to join its voice with those of many individuals and institutions who are expressing our sadness and extreme sense of loss, following the passing of Prof Mayosi last Friday. We want to extend our sincere condolences to his immediate family, and to the extended Mayosi family.

In view of the family’s statement about Prof Mayosi’s battle with depression in the last two years, the SASOP also wants to confirm its strong support for recent efforts by the South African Medical Association (SAMA) to facilitate awareness about depression and other mental health challenges for members of the medical profession, as well as other health care practitioners.1

Bernard Janse van Rensburg, SASOP President (2016-2018)

1 SAMA Insider. July 2018 pp5-8 and November 2017 p8;

SASOP Awards 2018 Criteria

Click here to view the Criteria for the SASOP 2018 Awards

Shift your Mood – 5 Ways to Combat Depression

With as many as one in six South Africans suffering from anxiety, depression or substance abuse (excluding more serious conditions such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia), Dr Renata Schoeman, member of the South African Society of Psychiatrists (SASOP) says now, this very minute, is the time for everyone to take stock of their unhealthy lifestyle to limit their chances of mental health related illnesses.

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USB hosts Corporate Mental Health Awareness Days
Dated: Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The demand for, and the success of, the Corporate Mental Health Awareness Days are a clear indication how the stigma associated with mental health problems can be addressed by breaking the silence… Employers and employees, although still hesitant to openly talk about anxiety and depression in the workplace, are eager to participate in these conversations, and also to develop impactful interventions at work.

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Passing of Dr Mike Ewart-Smith

As a society, we were very sad to hear the news this week of the passing of Dr Mike Ewart-Smith.

The Board of SASOP, on behalf of all the members, but in particular the Southern Gauteng Subgroup of which Mike was a long-standing member, would herewith like to extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife Jo and family, wishing them much strength and peace during this difficult time of loss and transition.

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Tribute to Professor Denise White 

It is with sadness that we share the news of Prof Denise White’s passing.

Denise Ann Campbell White was born in New Zealand and moved to South Africa at a young age, going on to study Medicine at the University of Cape Town, where she later specialized in Psychiatry at Groote Schuur Hospital.

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General Regulations Relating to the Mental Health Care Act, 2002: Amendment

6 November 2014

The Minister of Health intends, in terms of Sections 66, 67 and 68 of the Mental Health Care Act, 2002 (Act No.17 of 2002), and after consultation with the members of the Executive Council to make the Regulations in the Schedule.

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Dr Sean Baumann’s stirring cantata Madness: Songs of Hope and Despair, comes to the Baxter for a limited season this February

Following its acclaimed success at the World Psychiatry International Congress and its once-off staging in December last year, respected psychiatrist Dr Sean Baumann’s rousing cantata Madness: Songs of Hope and Despair, returns to the Baxter Theatre for a limited season from 9 to 19 February, with two Sunday performances at 6pm.

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Athens Anti-war Declaration
Athens, 25 March 2016

Humanity stands witness to the catastrophic impact of wars. The recent refugee crisis in Europe resulting from the war in Syria and elsewhere is a tragic example of the impact of war and its grave mental health consequences.

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Anti-War Declaration of Athens - Endorsing organizations

The deleterious Mental Health consequences of human-made disasters are well-known and humanity stands witness to their catastrophic impact.

War is the worst of human-made disasters and has tragic and unacceptable consequences on the mental health of its victims. The catastrophic impact of war on mental health is longitudinal, transgenerational, and amplified by refugee crises both in countries of origin and elsewhere.

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