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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.