Brand South Africa, will close off Mental Health Awareness Month through a partnership with The Durban Walk Project, to raise awareness and funds for mental health issues faced by South Africans. This is an especially important initiative amidst the COVID19 pandemic and the effects of the national lockdown
The Durban Walk Project was established by Ricardo Neiva and Jason Du. The initiative is a two weeks’ journey that is 636 km from Johannesburg to Durban, to promote awareness around mental health, suicide prevention and healthy living. The team aims to walk 40-70 kilometers per day. They will depart on the 30th of October 2020, from 55 Von Wielligh Street in Johannesburg.
“The collaboration is part of Brand South Africa’s efforts to encourage active citizenship and contribute to the overall wellness of the nation. We strongly believe in celebrating citizens who strive for a better South Africa. In addition, we also know that a healthy society adds to the prosperity of the country” says Pumeza Ceza, Brand South Africa’s Stakeholder Relations Manager for Civil Society.
Other partners include the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) and South African Federation for Mental Health (SAFMH) who will be the recipients of the funds raised through the programme. According to SADAG, South Africa’s suicide rate averages 17.2 per 100 000 (8% of all deaths) and this relates only to deaths reported by academic hospitals. The real figure may be much higher. Suicide is the second most common cause of death among young people worldwide especially due to mental illnesses and is most common among vulnerable and marginalised groups.
Brand South Africa welcomes the opportunity to empower South Africans about mental health issues and thus reduce any stigma around people struggling with mental health.