The Cost of Depression in South Africa –


The Cost of Depression in South Africa

Posted by Lourens van der Walt on

Depression has a massive impact on the lives of individuals across the world and affects more than 300 million people. According the South African Stress and Health (SASH) study, depression in South Africa affects close to 10% of our total population, yet of those experiencing depression in the last year, only 8% sought help from a psychiatrist.

Unfortunately, the cost associated with treating it has become an extremely expensive process which many South African cannot afford or maintain.


Cost of depression in South Africa

According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) in partnership with Discovery, a study on depression among South Africans showed the following:

  • 25% of South African employees have been diagnosed with depression
  • The lifetime prevalence of depression in SA is 9.7%.
  • About 20% of South Africans will experience a depressive disorder at least once in their lifetime.
  • There are 23 known suicides in South Africa every day. For every person who commits a suicide, 10 attempt it.
  • The cost of depression to the country is 42% higher than the value contributed by the tourism industry.
  • on average, a person with depression is unable to fulfil their roles at work for 57 days in the year.


prevalance of mental disorders in south africa

Source: SADAG, correct as of 4 June 2015.

For some it costs more than R5 000 a month to manage the condition. This includes roughly R3 000 a month for psychotherapy (Psychologists fees do vary from province and different region, but they generally range from R600-R1200 per session) with a clinical psychologist, and about R580 for medication.

SADAG also estimates that depression alone costs South Africa more than R218 billion in lost productivity. About R28 billion of this is attributable to unscheduled absences from work, while R190 billion can be attributed to people going to work while they are unwell.


Depression, while treatable, is not covered by some medical scheme policies and, depending on whether you suffered from it in the past, it may not even be covered under a life or disability policy.


What solution do you have?

The cost associated with treating depression is high and for most unaffordable. Let us help you not only treat it but give you a solution that is safe, effective and affordable.

Did you know? The PARASYM Neurostimulation device is a solution to depression, anxiety, insomnia and general mood enhancement. At just R13 800.00, Parasym may seem expensive, but as a once off amount that requires no further expenditure, it is a far cheaper option than a treatment plan of R5 000 a month (buy it now – also available through Mobicred).


Where to find free help

There are various associations around South Africa, including SADAG, the South African Federation for Mental Health (SAFMH), and Cape Mental Health to name but a few, which offer free advice and support groups.

Check out their respective social media sites as some, like SADAG, have free online sessions where you can speak to registered psychologists and psychiatrists.


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