Take care of your mental health

Posted on 1 October 2022

Mental illness doesn’t discriminate. No matter your age, class, race or gender, you can suffer serious mental health problems. 

One in four people worldwide will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. This places mental disorders among the leading causes of ill health and disability worldwide, reports the World Health Organization (WHO). However, nearly two thirds of those suffering from mental ill health never seek help from a healthcare provider – stigma, discrimination, and neglect prevent care and treatment from reaching them, the WHO also reports. 


Izaan van Coller, Hospital General Manager for Mediclinic Denmar Mental Health Services, says mental wellbeing is a broad term, and can be hard to define when it’s having a negative impact on your quality of life. “You may find it difficult to accept when you need to seek treatment for a mental health disorder,” she says. “However, the dedicated psychiatrists at our hospital are committed to providing the highest quality of care to help you overcome your challenges. Psychiatric problems can be successfully treated, and our psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists, and nursing team can provide you with advice, support and therapeutic techniques designed to suit your individual needs.”  


At Mediclinic Denmar Mental Health Services, located in Pretoria, treatment is tailor-made for each patient and can include medication, psychotherapy and group therapy. It’s monitored by a multidisciplinary team comprising psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, and occupational therapists. 

“Living with mental illness can be challenging but being cognisant of the importance of your daily routine can improve your ability to cope,” says Dr Marius Pretorius, a psychiatrist at Mediclinic Denmar Mental Health Services. 


Create structure
No matter how awful you feel, it’s important to keep to regular appointments, routines, engagements and sleep/wake times. 


Limit stressors
Take time off work or restructure your work schedule into tasks that you can complete more easily, require less concentration and you can accomplish in shorter periods of time. 


Practise mindfulness
Mindfulness is a focus on living in the present. It allows you to calmly accept your feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations. Meditation can help you to be more mindful and when you’re mindful, you’re taking responsibility for what you do, why you’re doing it, and recognising that you have choices. 


This is as essential for mental health as it is for physical health. In general, the average person needs regular daily cardiovascular, weight-bearing exercise. 


Eat healthily and avoid substance abuse
It’s important to eat a balanced diet and avoid drinking alcohol or taking recreational drugs. If you are prescribed medication, never exceed the dose prescribed by your doctor. Often someone with mental health problems will try to self-medicate with alcohol, recreational drugs, or taking an excess of medications. However, all of these make stress, depression, and anxiety worse. 


If you’re struggling with your mental health, reach out to your GP, who can refer you to an appropriate healthcare provider or find a mental health professional at www.mediclinic.co.za.

Published in Healthy Life

In the interest of our patients, in accordance with SA law and our commitment to expertise, Mediclinic cannot subscribe to the practice of online diagnosis. Please consult a medical professional for specific medical advice. If you have any major concerns, please see your doctor for an assessment. If you have any cause for concern, your GP will be able to direct you to the appropriate specialists.