My wife saved my life after attempted suicide - advice on mental illness support

Families need to understand that mental illness is a life-long struggle, says psychologist Cassandra Govender.

Govender explains that mental illness can affect the person suffering from it, as well as their loved ones who want to be there for them.

She says that it is important for family and friends to provide support once they have identified when there may be a problem where there are signs of poor mental well-being.

She advises that loved ones approach the individual to find out more about what they are experiencing and how they can help.

Here are some of her tips:

  • broach the subject with sensitivity and care
  • keep the conversation open and allow them to speak. Listening is key.
  • do not diagnose them
  • seek help from a psychologist or psychiatrist
  • consider family therapy sessions to address all the emotions that need to be processed

You want to open the conversation gently and say; "I've noticed something... I'm here. What's going on? Let's talk."

Cassandra Govender, Registered Clinical Psychologist

The last thing they want to do is talk about it because of the shame associated with not coping in society.

Cassandra Govender, Registered Clinical Psychologist

Don't tell them what is going on with their life. You want to hear them put it into words.

Cassandra Govender, Registered Clinical Psychologist

Listeners called in to share their personal experiences with mental health struggles that are close to home:

On the 7th of January I tried to commit suicide. It was not planned... My wife played such an important role in my recovery. It was such a traumatic time for her. I tried to hang myself in the garage. My wife still struggles with anxiety.

Andrew, caller

My wife was diagnosed with bipolar four years ago. She survived several suicide attempts. She's been admitted to a psychiatric clinic and it has been difficult for me and my kids.

Tshepo, caller

I am bipolar and I find that there is a major affect on my family, although they try help. It can destroy your relationship with your kids.

Rose, caller

A year ago, my wife committed suicide and shot herself... My daughter is taking strain after walking in on this.

Paul, caller

Listen to the discussion on The Eusebius McKaiser Show:


This article first appeared on 702 : My wife saved my life after attempted suicide - advice on mental illness support


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
[WATCH] There will be no place for violence in EFF government - Julius Malema

[WATCH] There will be no place for violence in EFF government - Julius Malema

Leader explains some of the party's election manifesto promises on the Eusebius McKaiser show.

'We wanted Patricia de Lille to go, Patricia de Lille went'

'We wanted Patricia de Lille to go, Patricia de Lille went'

DA's Mike Moriarty says this matter is about whether the IEC has powers to make judgements about the former mayor.

SAHRC report: Rights of mental health patients neglected by government

SAHRC report: Rights of mental health patients neglected by government

SAHRC paints bleak picture of state of mental health care in SA, but is positive about progress after meeting with Health Minister.

Affordable counselling services for people suffering from mental illness

Affordable counselling services for people suffering from mental illness

The Counseling Hub in Woodstock provides counselling for individuals and families who need basic mental health care services.

Tips on how and why we all need to look after our mental health

Tips on how and why we all need to look after our mental health

Clinical psychologist Cassandra Govender speaks about the importance of keeping both mentally and physically healthy.

What can Saps do if they think a criminal suspect is mentally unstable?

What can Saps do if they think a criminal suspect is mentally unstable?

Saps says the police are not in a position to certify people as mentally unstable. Here's what they can - and should - do.

Popular articles
How long to keep tax records available for inspection in South Africa

How long to keep tax records available for inspection in South Africa

Should you keep them "forever"? Tax expert Chris Sloane on the requirement to keep tax records available for inspection by Sars.

'SA's  decline over the past 12 years is similar to that of war-torn countries'

'SA's decline over the past 12 years is similar to that of war-torn countries'

CEO at Eunomix Claude Baissac says even though SA is ranked above these countries, its decline over the years is 'astounding'.

 What you should know before replacing a tyre

What you should know before replacing a tyre

Brent Lindeque took to social media earlier this month with a lengthy account of his experience at a Tyger Wheel & Tyre branch.

Capetonians: Here's your chance to sort out your traffic fines in one fell swoop

Capetonians: Here's your chance to sort out your traffic fines in one fell swoop

Mayco member for corporate services Sharon Cottle explains the Traffic Fines Roadshow at the Cape Town Civic Centre this week.