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Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting up to 350-million people. In a 2016 study of eight countries spanning diverse cultures and gross domestic product (GDP) ranges, Dr Sara Evans-Lacko and Prof Martin Knapp from the London School of Economics and Political Science reported that depression was collectively costing the nations of Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, South Africa and the US more than $246-billion a year. In that study, nearly twice as many South African employees reported a previous diagnosis of depression (25.6%) in comparison with the average (15.7%) reported across these countries. This is in line with a previous South African study by Prof Crick Lund and others that found mental health problems affected one in four South Africans – with only 15%–25% of affected individuals seeking and receiving help. According to the World Health Organisation, mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual reali...

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