70% of South Africans Overwhelmed by Stress, Ipsos Study Reveals

Alarming mental health crisis in South Africa: 70% of population experiencing unmanageable stress levels, highlighting urgent need for increased resources and support.

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Israel Ojoko
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70% of South Africans Overwhelmed by Stress, Ipsos Study Reveals

70% of South Africans Overwhelmed by Stress, Ipsos Study Reveals

A recent market research study conducted by Ipsos has revealed that a staggering 70% of South Africans are experiencing stress levels that make them feel unable to cope with life's demands. The findings highlight the significant mental health challenges faced by a large portion of the population, impacting their ability to manage daily responsibilities and overall well-being.

South Africa ranks among the highest globally in terms of people suffering from mental health disorders, according to the study. The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) attributes this high figure to various factors, including a lack of confidence in the government and ongoing societal issues. "71% of South Africans say stress has affected them multiple times in the last year to the point that they could not cope, and 50% feel so stressed that they cannot go to work," SADAG reports.

The organization's call center receives over 2,500 calls per day from individuals who are overwhelmed and in distress. Roshni Parbhoo Seetha, a project manager at SADAG, emphasizes the importance of seeking professional help or support to address the mental health crisis. "Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been increased awareness about mental health, but the availability of resources remains insufficient, with only 1 psychiatrist per 100,000 and 3 psychologists per 100,000 people," Seetha notes.

Why this matters: The alarming prevalence of stress and mental health disorders in South Africa has widespread ramifications for individuals, families, and society as a whole. Addressing this crisis requires increased funding, resources, and support from both the government and private sectors to ensure accessible and effective mental health care for all South Africans.

Fatima Seedat, Development Manager at SADAG, highlights the challenges people face in accessing necessary mental health support, including political uncertainty, load-shedding, water shortages, financial difficulties, and gender-based violence. The organization urges the government to allocate more funding for mental health care, as it currently receives only 5% of the health budget despite being one of the most overburdened sectors. "The Mental State of the World Report shows that South Africa has a concerning Mental Health Quotient (MHQ) score of just 50 out of 100, placing it in the bottom tier of the 71 countries evaluated," Seedat states, underscoring the pressing necessity for action to address the mental health crisis in the country.

Key Takeaways

  • 70% of South Africans experience stress levels they can't cope with.
  • South Africa ranks among the highest globally for mental health disorders.
  • 71% of South Africans say stress has affected them multiple times in the last year.
  • Only 1 psychiatrist per 100,000 and 3 psychologists per 100,000 people in South Africa.
  • South Africa's Mental Health Quotient score is just 50 out of 100, in the bottom tier.