Stressed SA medical students and trainee doctors need help

The stress of coping with study demands and growing pressure in public health is leading to medical students and trainee doctors suffering mental health issues.

In a bid to help young doctors and medical students cope with the demands of their career and personal challenges‚ the South African Depression and Anxiety Group has launched a 24-hour medical students helpline‚ which is being run in partnership with Discovery Health.

Dr Maurice Goodman‚ chief medical officer of Discovery Health‚ said: "Particularly given the huge shortage of doctors in this country‚ South Africa's significant disease burden‚ and the broader impact of this on our country as a whole‚ it is a national imperative to invest in our future doctors."

According to a 2010 World Health Organisation report‚ suicide is among the top three causes of death for people aged 15–44 years worldwide‚ and is the second-leading cause of death among university students.

South Africa has the eighth-highest rate of suicide in the world‚ and young adults are considered the most at-risk group for depression and suicidal behaviour.

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