Support group for heart attack survivors and family members

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) is pleased to announce the launch of a new free mental health support group for heart attack survivors and their family members. The ‘first of its kind’ SADAG mental health support group will take place on the first and third Wednesday of every month. SADAG support groups provide a place of warmth, understanding and support for people in need.

Research shows that support groups help people cope and manage a wide variety of mental illnesses by providing ongoing support. They also provide information on mental illnesses, self-help advice and coping strategies.

Support group leader, *Vanessa explained why she started her support group for heart attack survivors and their family members.

She said: “In November a family crisis put so much mental and physical strain on my body that it couldn’t cope and I had the wake up call of my life, a heart attack while I was sleeping. After a week in intensive intensive care, I was discharged from the hospital. I was scared, anxious and uncertain. With no cardio rehab options available in my area, I searched for a support group for heart attack survivors, to no avail.

Having lived through the impacts of a near-death experience on her and her family, she decided to start a support group. She commented: “Survivors claim everything is fine and the family claims they are fine while hoping the nightmare will pass. Unfortunately, this is my new normal. I had to deal with massive lifestyle changes, new medications, side effects and felt incredibly overwhelmed. When asked why anyone would want or should join her support group, she explained that she started this support group to create a safe therapeutic environment where people who have had heart attacks can come together and support each other.

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“A prerequisite to join the group is to have either suffered a heart attack, or be at risk of a heart attack, or be a family member trying to come and support a loved one who has had a heart attack,” a- she mentioned. .

This is one of many support groups run by SADAG, a non-profit organization, which strives to educate patients, families and the general public about the nature and management of mental illness.

The NPO also aims to eliminate the discrimination and stigma that surroundss mental illness, as well as increasing access to high quality care for all South Africans.

SADAG support groups are led either by patients and ex-patientslife experience of living with mental illness, or by mental wellness enthusiasts.

These gGroups allow members to connect with others experiencing similar issues and to learn from each other in a confidential, non-judgmental atmosphere.

To join this free mental health support group, call 076-597-1965.

Virginia S. Braud