Statistically, mental health disorders affect one in every four people in South Africa. This means that the daily lives of more people than we probably expect are affected in varying degrees. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on those with pre-existing mental health conditions and has also seen many more developing mental health issues due to financial stress and the uncertainty of what the future holds.
The South African Medical Association (SAMA) has drawn a link between overwhelmed hospitals due to the COVID-19 pandemic and healthcare workers suffering ‘burnout’.
Burnout, which refers to mental and physical exhaustion, is a real syndrome. In May 2019, the World Health Organization recognised it as an “occupational phenomenon” caused by chronic stress in the workplace.
What causes burnout?
Here are some of the leading causes:
How can you beat burnout?
As from 1 January 2021, Bestmed partnered with the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) to offer a 24-hour mental health helpline, with the aim of supporting members that are experiencing mental health issues by managing its effects, providing additional support and improving quality of life.
This offering forms a part of the Bestmed Tempo wellness programme offered to all registered beneficiaries across all our 13 benefit options. Members will not incur any additional costs for utilising these services, except if they consult with a mental health professional on a personal basis and/or as referred by the SADAG counsellor.
How will it work?
Members will have access to SADAG’s telephone counselling and support services, 24 hours a day via the:
After providing detailed information to the SADAG counsellor and undergoing the screening process to determine the status of the call or electronic query (SMS/email) the counsellor will provide the member with practical advice, referrals, resources and an action plan based on his/her unique needs.
Referrals to resources include, but are not limited to, support groups, mental health professionals (subject to available benefits), treatment centres and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Members will also have access to SADAG’s online services such as the website, online videos, weekly Facebook expert chats and webinars.
For queries regarding this benefit, please contact Bestmed Contact Centre on 086 000 2378 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.