SA violence's impact on mental health

Violent scenes playing out in the country have seen an outpouring grief and anger. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's been through a tough few weeks, with violence against foreigners and women dominating headlines.

For many, the scenes have been painfully triggering but how to cope with the stress?

Mental health experts say it's important to talk about it.

"I wish I could say that we are a country going through a post-traumatic stress reaction, but unfortunately we are a country going through continuous traumatic stress experiences,” said clinical psychologist Khosi Jiyane.

“It is important for people to story out their experiences and not suppress them, but to be able to talk about it.

“There is something that gives healing in being able to speak out about what happened to you.”

READ: Crime stats: Violent crimes increased in 2018/19

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group says more people are reaching out but, their stories have become more disturbing.

“There are more complex traumas, it’s no longer just a rape, it’s more detailed it’s more violent, it’s aggressive the abuse is more hectic,” said Sadag Operations Director, Cassey Chambers.

“It’s really been difficult I think for our counsellors, we’ve had to provide more training for them.”

"I think it is very important that we look after ourselves and sometimes finding comfort in others is the best therapy we can get."