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July 29, 2016

PRESS RELEASE: ENDING MEDICATION STOCK OUTS MUST REMAIN A PRIORITY

PRESS RELEASE: ENDING MEDICATION STOCK OUTS MUST REMAIN A PRIORITY 

29 JULY 2016

JULY PSYCHOSOCIAL DISABILITY AWARENESS MONTH 2016 

During the month of July, the South African Federation for Mental Health commemorated Psychosocial Disability Awareness month, and focused on raising awareness around the issue of stock outs of psychiatric medication, and the negative effect this has on mental health care users. As the month of July draws to an end, it is important to realise that this is an issue that effects mental health care users every single day, and needs constant attention and action, not just during an awareness month. 

According to data released by pharmaceutical company Pharma Dynamics recently, one in five South Africans or just over 1 million citizens are on anti-depressant medication. These figures however only take into account patients who get their medication from private facilities, which means that the actual figure taking state facilities into considerations as well will be much higher. These figures also only look at Depression, and do not include the many South Africans taking medication for disorders such as Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Anxiety etc. 

Figures like these highlight why it is crucially important that all mental health care users are able to access the correct medication for their individual needs at all times. Mental health problems are not something that only affect a small number of people, millions of South Africans depend on some form of medication to help them manage their mental health and live healthy lives, and it is their right to be able to access this medication at all times. 

For many service users, having the required access to psychiatric medication is essential to their recovery and to the ongoing management of their conditions. The availability of psychiatric medication is therefore crucial. Being unable to receive the correct, prescribed medication at clinics leaves patients in a situation which can result in a deterioration in mental health functioning and, worst case scenario, relapse. This can have a number of negative and long lasting consequences, such as re-admission to inpatient facilities, loss of employment, a breakdown in family or other relationships, poorer quality of life and social isolation.    

The lack of access to correct medication at clinics and hospitals is not just a logistical or policy issue; it is a human rights issue as it violates a person’s right to health and dignity. The National Mental Health Policy Framework stipulates that all psychiatric medication must be available at all levels of care. This however does not reflect the reality as stock outs of psychiatric medication is a problem that many mental health service users face on a regular basis.

As Psychosocial Disability Awareness Month draws to a close, SAFMH would like to encourage both the National and Provincial Departments of Health to continue placing emphasis on ensuring that service users’ right to health and dignity are protected by ensuring the availability and accessibility of all psychiatric medications at all levels of health care, as well as ensuring the full implementation of the Mental Health Policy Framework. Members of the public are also encouraged to report any medication stock outs to The Stop Stock Outs Campaign, The Mental Health Watch Reporting System, or the National Department of Health. 

 

The Stop Stock Outs Campaign:

www.stockouts.org 

Report stock outs to:

084 855 7867 - SMS, Please Call Me, Phone, WhatsApp

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Mental Health Watch Reporting System: 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

011 781 1852 

Sms/Whatsapp – 076 0788 722

www.safmh.org 

 

National Department of Health 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

For Enquiries/information: 

Marthé Viljoen

Programme Manager: Information & Awareness

T: +27 (0)11 781 1852

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

July 29, 2016

PRESS RELEASE: ENDING MEDICATION STOCK OUTS MUST REMAIN A PRIORITY

PRESS RELEASE: ENDING MEDICATION STOCK OUTS MUST REMAIN A PRIORITY 

29 JULY 2016

JULY PSYCHOSOCIAL DISABILITY AWARENESS MONTH 2016 

During the month of July, the South African Federation for Mental Health commemorated Psychosocial Disability Awareness month, and focused on raising awareness around the issue of stock outs of psychiatric medication, and the negative effect this has on mental health care users. As the month of July draws to an end, it is important to realise that this is an issue that effects mental health care users every single day, and needs constant attention and action, not just during an awareness month. 

According to data released by pharmaceutical company Pharma Dynamics recently, one in five South Africans or just over 1 million citizens are on anti-depressant medication. These figures however only take into account patients who get their medication from private facilities, which means that the actual figure taking state facilities into considerations as well will be much higher. These figures also only look at Depression, and do not include the many South Africans taking medication for disorders such as Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Anxiety etc. 

Figures like these highlight why it is crucially important that all mental health care users are able to access the correct medication for their individual needs at all times. Mental health problems are not something that only affect a small number of people, millions of South Africans depend on some form of medication to help them manage their mental health and live healthy lives, and it is their right to be able to access this medication at all times. 

For many service users, having the required access to psychiatric medication is essential to their recovery and to the ongoing management of their conditions. The availability of psychiatric medication is therefore crucial. Being unable to receive the correct, prescribed medication at clinics leaves patients in a situation which can result in a deterioration in mental health functioning and, worst case scenario, relapse. This can have a number of negative and long lasting consequences, such as re-admission to inpatient facilities, loss of employment, a breakdown in family or other relationships, poorer quality of life and social isolation.    

The lack of access to correct medication at clinics and hospitals is not just a logistical or policy issue; it is a human rights issue as it violates a person’s right to health and dignity. The National Mental Health Policy Framework stipulates that all psychiatric medication must be available at all levels of care. This however does not reflect the reality as stock outs of psychiatric medication is a problem that many mental health service users face on a regular basis.

As Psychosocial Disability Awareness Month draws to a close, SAFMH would like to encourage both the National and Provincial Departments of Health to continue placing emphasis on ensuring that service users’ right to health and dignity are protected by ensuring the availability and accessibility of all psychiatric medications at all levels of health care, as well as ensuring the full implementation of the Mental Health Policy Framework. Members of the public are also encouraged to report any medication stock outs to The Stop Stock Outs Campaign, The Mental Health Watch Reporting System, or the National Department of Health. 

 

The Stop Stock Outs Campaign:

www.stockouts.org 

Report stock outs to:

084 855 7867 - SMS, Please Call Me, Phone, WhatsApp

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Mental Health Watch Reporting System: 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

011 781 1852 

Sms/Whatsapp – 076 0788 722

www.safmh.org 

 

National Department of Health 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

For Enquiries/information: 

Marthé Viljoen

Programme Manager: Information & Awareness

T: +27 (0)11 781 1852

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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