The Ithemba Foundation


Newsletter November 2019


Struggling to get out of bed? Here’s a little help

Depression and related mental health illnesses are not only debilitating illnesses – you know it is even a struggle just to get out of bed in the morning, trying to face a new day. This is because these clinical illnesses interfere mentally with your thought processes, and also physically, attacking your energy levels. The website has checklists to help you get up in the morning. It seems easy enough on paper, but those who know how difficult it is to get to a vertical position will find them handy

It is important to do just one thing at a time, and then the next, and before long you will find yourself in front of the mirror in the bathroom. Yes, facing yourself, but also the new day. One of’s authors, Tanya Peterson, says you need to keep the checklist she suggests by your bed “to make getting up and staying up a habit”.

  • Move: First off, get your blood flowing by stretching your arms, legs and torso. Roll your wrists, ankles, neck and shoulders.
  • Breathe: Do conscious breathing by doing it slowly and deeply.
  • Drink water: Peterson writes you need to continue to stretch and breathe while you drink the glass of water you placed beside your bed the evening before.
  • Write it down: The next step is to write down one reason you have for getting up. Do this in the notebook you keep next to your bed. Yes, it’s also okay to write this the previous evening – “just to make sure you already have it in the morning when you need it”.
  • Make your bed: Now get up and make your bed – and you know even this is an accomplishment. What’s more, this will give you the energy to take the next step.

These steps will help you to take action without thinking and planning. Best of all, you will show depression that “you can function well, no matter how it tries to interfere”.

Another writer, Brandy Eaklor, says these three tips might also help: 1. Acknowledge your feelings, 2. Do something relaxing outside the bedroom, like taking a shower or meditating for a while, and 3. Focus on something positive to help yourself to get going for the day.

Source: HealthyPlace Mental Health Newsletter online

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Ithemba – your flame of Hope

The Ithemba Foundation is a non-profit entity with two public benefit goals, namely raising awareness of depression as a biological illness, and raising funds for research on depression and related mental health illnesses such as anxiety.

According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group, 10% of unnatural deaths in adults in South Africa are due to suicide, and according to research, the cause in more than 90% of suicides is depression. The World Health Organization (WHO) found that depression has increased by 18,4% over the past ten years. Next year, according to the WHO, it will be the second biggest disease globally, and in 2030 the biggest. In addition, the annual economic cost of depression due to absenteeism and unproductivity is immense. One South African study found that, on average, people with depression took 18 days’ sick leave per year as a result of their illness.

Depression is not the same as feeling disappointed or sad. As is the case in other diseases, depression is a clinical illness that can be treated, and the earlier the intervention, the better the chances to manage these debilitating illnesses. Because, untreated, they can become life threatening – as is the case with other illnesses.

To improve the mental wellbeing of individuals, their families and our communities, each of us can be an Ambassador of Hope. Depression is an illness, not a weakness. Let’s break the stigma and the silence together. Most importantly, if we want to make a difference, we need to make it now.


A huge big THANK YOU

With the year nearing its end, it is our privilege to thank all of you for your support this past year. Without each and every one of you being an Ambassador of Hope, we will not be able to continue spreading the message of hope and the importance of mental health as the foundation of all health. Without mental health, there IS no health.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our various activities, and by doing so, becoming an Ambassador of Hope. Thank you also to our sponsors for their donations. We are grateful to those who have given time and money to spread hope in our communities.

Ithemba, being a Public Benefit Organisation registered at SARS (registration number: 2012/171250/08; PBO number: 930/048/019), issues Article 18A certificates to sponsors and donors.

Tuesday, 3 December 2019 is #GivingTuesdaySA. You can even give as little as a rand through Snapscan using the code below, or you can donate through GivenGain or PayFast.

This year marks the first formal year of efforts in South Africa, so help us shape a generosity of spirit that now stretches across more than 60 countries. If you want an Article 18A certificate (for donations of more than R100), please also send an email with your details to


Skryfterapie-werkwinkels in 2020

Kom ervaar die verlossende krag van skryfterapie in twee werkwinkels aangebied deur Lizette Rabe, stigter van Ithemba en professor in joernalistiek aan die Universiteit Stellenbosch. Die werkwinkels is gebaseer op haar boek Om tot verhaal te kom (Lapa).

Egskeiding, siekte, afleggings, finansiële nood, misdaad, dood – ons almal ervaar trauma wat jou laat met die vraag: Hóé gaan ek voort? Die antwoord lê dalk in jouself: Skryfterapie. Dis waarmee hierdie werkwinkels jou wil help: om te probeer om weer jouself te vind deur daaroor te skryf. Jy kan dit op soveel verskillende maniere doen: Skryf jou memoire op jou rekenaar, hou dagboek op papier, begin ’n blog, dig, rym of krabbel sommer net. Om tot verhaal te kom is ’n skryfterapiegids propvol praktiese skryfwenke en inspirasie. Die werkwinkel, in Afrikaans, sal jou help met wenke oor hoe om “tot verhaal te kom”. As jy dalk nog inspirasie soek, hier is ’n aanhaling van Nobel-pryswenner Toni Morrison: “As daar ’n boek is wat jy regtig wil lees, maar dis nog nie geskryf nie, dan moet jy dit skryf.”

Die werkwinkels is ten bate van die Ithemba Stigting en word in die Departement Joernalistiek, Crozierstraat 26, Stellenbosch aangebied op Saterdag 7 Maart en Saterdag 14 Maart 2020. Dit duur van 09:00 tot 13:00, met registrasie om 08:30. Die koste is R375, wat ’n aankomskoffie/tee insluit, asook koffie/tee en ’n versnapering tydens die pouse, en ’n aantekeningboekie en pen. Bespreek aanlyn by Quicket.

Getekende eksemplare van die boek sal teen afslag beskikbaar wees. Vir meer inligting kan jy Ithemba kontak by

En as jy dalk nog kop krap oor die perfekte Kersgeskenk – gee ’n geskenk wat ’n verskil maak. Gaan na jou naaste boekwinkel of bestel Om tot verhaal te kom direk by die uitgewer:



ITHEMBA FOUNDATION - NPC 2012/171250/08 - PBO 930/048/019