October is around the corner, and besides being the “mooiste, mooiste maand” of sweet, bounteous spring, it is also Mental Health Awareness Month, and you can do your bit to raise awareness by participating in our Hope Hike and Hope Bike on Sunday, 2 October. This year the Hike and Bike is a hybrid event, which means you can join the fun in-person on the Blaauwklippen Estate in Stellenbosch or do your thing wherever you are as part of our virtual event. Go to https://bit.ly/IthembaHHB22 and enter now! Take a selfie and post it on the Ithemba Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/IthembaFoundation1/) to stand a chance to win one of ten R500 Woolworths vouchers.
And then it is time for the Cape Town Marathon, where Ithemba is the only charity participating to raise awareness of depression and the different anxiety disorders. If you are interested in doing the marathon on Sunday, 16 October, or the Peace10 or Peace5 on Saturday, 15 October (there is also a 46 km or 22 km trail run on the Saturday if you’re interested), send an email to email@example.com before 9 September. Ithemba will pay your entry fee and you can start raising support and funds via Ithemba’s Givengain portal. For more information, just send us that email!
According to the Mayo Clinic it has been scientifically proven that positive thinking is linked to longer lives, lower rates of depression, increased immunity, and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Read what those ten habits are to help you lead a positive life – instead of sinking into a morass of negativity. And yes, despite everything, we can still remain positive. And remember, it only takes the smallest step to change direction – begin now – take the first step.
If you suffer from anxiety, you know how it all starts: the dry mouth, repetitive, intrusive thoughts, your heart that feels like a fluttering butterfly, your stomach in a knot. This can be a natural response to a threat, but if these symptoms persist, you might suffer from an anxiety disorder – anyone on the whole spectrum of the different anxiety disorders. In the UK, a study found that generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) soared to 31% in the population as a result of social isolation, uncertainty, and all the grief the pandemic brought with it. In South Africa one can assume that such a percentage might even be higher, given all the stressors South Africans have to cope with on a daily basis. To help you recognise the symptoms, and seek help, click on this link.
Researchers are continuously searching for answers to this question, whilst those suffering from this debilitating illness are frustrated – an understatement – with trying to understand how these illnesses can have such a destructive effect on one’s life. Factors causing depression include genetics, biological causes, one’s environment, and social elements. Each of these has its own complex set of factors. Inform yourself about them to help you identify them – and see how you, yourself, can minimise their effects. That way – HOPEfully – you can stay one step ahead of the black dog. Read more here.
ITHEMBA FOUNDATION - NPC 2012/171250/08 - PBO 930/048/019