Mental Health Matters is published five times a year with the objective of bringing information and support to South Africa’s GP’s in their role as first line care givers and identifiers of mental health issues.


Involuntary admission and treatment of people with mental illness and intellectual disability has been globally well accepted and practiced
for decades. It has been commonly recognised that where this is
done through due legal processes involving examinations by qualified mental health practitioners and review by independent judicial or quasi-judicial structures and where strict criteria for admission and treatment have been followed, that this practice is in line with optimal health outcomes as well as protection of rights of users, family and community.

Prof. Melyvn Freeman

Drug-induced psychosis and Schizophrenia are linked to dysfunction of the Dopaminergic system. For instance chronic cannabis use and Schizophrenia are associated with reduced Dopamine synthesis, thus the differences between Schizophrenia and cannabis-induced psychosis are barely noticeable when acute symptoms present.

Cheryl-anne Johnston

The DSM-IV-TR describes the essential feature of Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder as being a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more frequently displayed and more severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development.

Lorian Phillips

The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study ranks headache disorders as the second leading cause of years lived with disability worldwide, migraine is third among people aged 15 to 49 years old.

Dr Ingrid Williamson

Major depression has been recognised as a mental health disorder that has a huge impact worldwide on burden of disease and it negatively influences patients functioning and quality of life. The prevalence of major depression has been estimated to be 9.7% according to the South African house hold survey during 2002 – 2004.

Gerhard Grundling

Bipolar, in its various forms, makes up 30 pages of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th Ed.; DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Pages and pages, bullet point after bullet point, outline the diagnostic features, prevalence, development and course, risk and prognostic factors of a disorder that can alter lives and, in my opinion, become embedded in how someone defines themselves or is defined by others.

Claudia Campbell

Common to both PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and Panic Disorder is
severe (acute) anxiety, avoidance behaviour and anticipatory anxiety.
There are differences between the disorders though, and these will help to distinguish them in terms of diagnosis and treatment. I’ll briefly describe each disorder, then list the main ways of distinguishing between them, followed by treatment options.

Dr Colinda Linde

With the recent National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill being released, it’s evident that political will and plans to phase in universal access to health services are gradually unfolding. NHI intends to promote this universal access to care through the Primary Care Service Platform. A ‘service platform’ may be defined as a grouping of related services that are similar in resource type, and constitute a component of a larger continuum of care.

Dr Kalpesh Narsi

In these contemporary times, much emphasis has been placed on dieting, exercising and looking picture perfect. Technology and social media, in particular, have played an enormous role in perpetuating and maintaining these values. Consequently, the line between healthy and unhealthy has become blurred such that disordered relationships with food and exercise are normalised and not scrutinised.

Cassandra Govender

Various studies show that suicidal behaviour is a significant health care problem, locally and internationally. Several high profile suicides in South Africa have been reported in the media recently. These statistics confirm that thousands of people’s lives annually are affected by suicidal behaviour directly or indirectly, underscoring the dire need to provide increased identification of risk factors as well as prevention and postvention services which have been lacking in many geographical areas in the past.

Professor Lourens Schlebusch

17 August 2011 – I tried to commit suicide by hanging myself in the Pongola Game Reserve three times in one night. The first time the rope broke and I landed on my bum. I got up and tied the rope. A few minutes later I
climbed up the second tree, found the perfect branch and as I said goodbye to the world with the rope around my neck the branch broke and I landed on the ground again.

Sipho M. Simelane

Zane Wilson Founder SADAG

  • Neil Amoore,
  • Psychologist, Johannesburg
  • Kevin Bolon,
  • Psychologist, Johannesburg
  • Dr Jan Chabalala,
  • Psychiatrist, Johannesburg
  • Dr Lori Eddy,
  • Psychologist, Johannesburg
  • Lee-Ann Hartman,
  • Psychologist, Johannesburg
  • Dr Frans Korb,
  • Psychiatrist/Psychologist, Johannesburg
  • Professor Crick Lund,
  • Psychiatrist, Cape Town
  • Dr Rykie Liebenberg,
  • Psychiatrist, Johannesburg
  • Dr Colinda Linde,
  • Psychologist, Johannesburg
  • Zamo Mbele,
  • Psychologist, Johannesburg
  • Nkini Phasha,
  • SADAG Director, Johannesburg
  • David Rosenstein,
  • Psychologist, Cape Town
  • Professor Dan Stein,
  • Psychiatrist, Cape Town
  • Professor Bernard van Rensburg,
  • Johannesburg
  • Dr Sheldon Zilesnick,
  • Psychiatrist, Johannesburg