Useful organisations

These are some of the South African national and regional organisations we have recommended in the past, with a focus on practical information and support. For many years we were purely a Cape Town based organisation. With the advent of online meetings and our FSS website, we are gradually extending our reach beyond the Western Cape. We would like to broaden this list of resources to include other areas in South Africa. Contact us with any suggested additions.


The South African Depression and Anxiety Group – SADAG

SADAG is South Africa’s largest mental health organisation. It offers free information, education, counselling and referral services for most mental health conditions including schizophrenia. Trained volunteer counsellors operate SADAG’s various crisis lines and helplines. SADAG holds regular webinars and hosts numerous support groups across the country. Its website is a rich resource for family members and carers.

A quick overview of some SADAG helplines

Comprehensive list of SADAG helplines and contact details

Click here for comprehensive information on how to contact SADAG.

SA Federation for Mental Health – SAFMH

SAFMH is the largest national mental health federation in South Africa, and has 17 constituent bodies, known as Mental Health Societies, across all 9 provinces. SAFMH works at a strategic level to raise awareness of mental health and human rights and to advocate for improved resourcing of mental health. The Mental Health Societies are independent, community-based mental health organisations which deliver essential frontline mental health services to communities that are often under-resourced.

SAFMH help desk

SAFMH’s help desk supplies mental health care users, their families and members of the public with information about mental health services and provides referrals to service providers. It is not a counselling line and does not provide any direct medical services or advice.

SAFMH list of helplines in South Africa

Visit the SAFMH help desk and click on View Helpline Details for a dropdown list of helplines in South Africa

SAFMH list of Mental Health Societies

Visit the SAFMH help desk  and scroll down to List of Contact Details for a dropdown list of the 17 provincial Mental Health Societies OR open pdf for an overview list

SAFMH list of mental health resource links 

Visit the SAFMH useful links page for a list of mental health resource links. 

Netcare Akeso

Netcare Akeso provides private patient-centred mental health care and emergency services. It has facilities in Gauteng, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. An informative and clear website.

Netcare Akeso 24-hour emergency lines 
Akeso psychiatric response unit 0861 435 787 
Netcare emergency services 082 911 

Akeso psychiatric response unit 

Experienced counselling staff are trained to contain and manage the immediate crisis, provide transportation and arrange admission to the nearest psychiatric clinic if required. If it is not an emergency the caller will be referred to a counsellor.

Akeso’s list of mental health care providers 

Click here for Akeso’s search facility for mental health care providers, including psychiatrists


Western Cape

Cape Mental Health – CMH

CMH is the Western Cape provincial mental health society. It provides free community-based services for persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities. Services include assessment, referrals, counselling and support, psychosocial rehabilitation and peer support interventions for persons living with psychosocial disability, as well as advocacy, training and community awareness programmes.

Intake social workers
Skilled intake social workers deal with initial enquiries and refer or advise as appropriate.

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Friends of Valkenberg

Friends of Valkenberg works in partnership with staff at Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital in Cape Town to promote mental health and support recovery of patients with serious mental illnesses. Its goal is to equip people to reintegrate into society and be able to return successfully to their families, jobs and communities. It runs rehabilitation and skills training programmes for in- and out-patients and provides basic needs packages of clothing and food to patients returning home.


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Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorders Alliance – SABDA

SABDA is a Johannesburg-based support group for carers of and people living with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and related disorders. It offers advice, sharing and support, therapeutic activities for clients, assisted accommodation in a group home and community education.

All provinces

Provincial Mental Health Societies

Visit the SAFMH help desk and scroll down to List of Contact Details for a dropdown list of the 17 provincial Mental Health Societies OR open pdf for an overview list