oa South African Family Practice - Depression among South Africa's civil servants : is there a solution? : editorial

Volume 57, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 2078-6190
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6204



A recent South African newspaper headline reads - "State employees fail to disclose chronic mental illnesses". The article states that the Government Employees Medical Scheme (Gems) data, showed that at least 32 069 state employees suffer from chronic depression. Furthermore employees and Gems principal members diagnosed with bipolar disorder stood at 5837, with those suffering from schizophrenia at 727.1 If this data is true, there are serious concerns on how we manage mental health in the civil service. Of more concern are civil servants with major depression and other mental health conditions who are managed outside Gems, which include other medical aid schemes, public health system and traditional healers whose data are not included. However, let us focus on available data.

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