Mental health is still considered a taboo subject.
Miss South Africa Shudufhadzo Musida is changing that mindset one conversation at a time with her online initiative, Mindful Mondays.
“It’s time our society stands together to confront this,” said the reigning beauty queen.
Musida will host the live mental health discussions on Instagram, where she will speak to experts on a diverse range of topics related to the subject, on Mondays at 7pm.
Musida announced that she would be focusing on raising awareness around mental health when she won the Miss South Africa crown in October last year.
As someone affected by bullying at a young age, this is a subject that is close to her heart.
“The bullying happened when I moved to a new school. Before the age of nine I was a bubbly little girl, but then people found it okay to bring me down at a time when I was only trying to discover myself. The ramifications were enormous,” she said.
Mindful Mondays will be hosted in conjunction with the South African Depression and Anxiety
Group (Sadag) with Musida’s first guest being Sadag board member Zamo Mbele, who is a clinical psychologist.
Their discussion will include the difference between mental health and mental illness, the statistics in the country, how mental illness and mental health issues affect people, the different types of mental health issues and who treats them, what resources are available and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on mental health.
Over the weeks, discussion topics will also include teenage depression with Dr Sindi van Zyl; and anxiety, stress and worry with Dr Colinda Linde, who will also discuss issues such as panic attacks, what happens when you don’t treat anxiety, medication and self-help tips.
A Sadag psychologist will discuss the stigma surrounding mental health while Charity Mokoene will help viewers and listeners understand depression and its causes and symptoms.
Her conversations will also be available at a later stage on the Miss South Africa social media platforms, YouTube, misssa.live and as podcasts.
Musida has another project close to her heart which she will launch in March.
“I have been working on this since I was crowned Miss South Africa, while also completing my honours in International Relations at the University of Witwatersrand.
“I am thrilled with the result and cannot wait to reveal the end product. I have put my heart and soul into it,” she said.