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Current Awareness 2020: October

What's happening in South Africa

What is current awareness?

Current awareness is the term used to describe staying informed by keeping up to date with the latest publications, research and news in your field.

The perspective of current awareness is the present and the forthcoming, as opposed to the retrospective. 

Current awareness ranges from looking for information on specific topics on a regular basis (and this usually involves the assistance of your Personal Librarian to help you set up a search profile matched to your research interests) to embracing a wider, more general, and cross-disciplinary view that brings an element of serendipity into your search for the latest information.

Informally, researchers remain alert in all contexts for useful information and insights that will inform their daily practice, their research, and spark off innovative and creative ideas for new avenues of research

Website of the Month


The SA Federation for Mental Health is the largest national mental health organisation in South Africa. The strategic key focus areas of the SAFMH National Office are:

  • The implementation of national awareness campaigns,
  • Empowerment of mental health care users and mental health organisations nationwide,
  • Advocating for the human rights of mental health care users and
  • Mental health research and information management

SA Federation for Mental Health's Information Library .


The SA Federation for Mental Health is calling on everyone… yes, everyone… to help us seize the day, capture the moment and tell the story of COVID-19 in 2020, and how living through this has or is affecting our mental health or personal wellbeing. We will use all responses to compile a COVID-19 & mental health scrapbook, that we will publish, free of charge, later in the year.

We are asking you to share a few sentences about your experiences, and how you have personally been affected by the pandemic, the lockdown, and the added mental pressures that many people are experiencing. You can even share a photo of yourself, or of anything else that captures your experiences.

All responses will be treated with the utmost of confidentiality.

Please get touch with us as and share your story today!



The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) is at the forefront of patient advocacy, education and destigmatisation of mental illness in the country. Its expertise lies in assisting patients and callers throughout South Africa with mental health queries.


Suicide Crisis Line
0800 567 567

SADAG Mental Health Line
011 234 4837

ADHD Helpline
0800 55 44 33

Cipla 24hr Mental Health Helpline
0800 456 789

Pharmadynamics Police & Trauma Line
0800 20 50 26

Adcock Ingram Depression and Anxiety Helpline
0800 70 80 90

Cipla Whatsapp Chat Line
076 882 2775

Further reading

About the monthly current awareness page

The year is marked with many special days, weeks, and months dedicated and devoted to raising awareness about important issues.

This monthly post, compiled by the Information Search Librarians Team, will note special dates and themes, and draw your attention to possibly interesting cross-disciplinary topical references intended to inform and to inspire ideas for research.

Selected noteworthy days in October

Mental Health Awareness Month

An estimated 400 million people worldwide suffer from mental or neurological disorders or from psychosocial problems. These include disorders related to alcohol and drug abuse.

Like physical disorders mental and brain disorders vary in severity. There are those that are:

Other conditions include: 

Other Monthly Themes:

18 Sept to 2 Oct South Africa commemorates 75th Anniversary of the United Nations

30 Sep 2020 to 6 Oct 2020 Older Persons Week 2020

1 Oct 2020 to 31 Oct 2020 Social Development Month 2020

1 Oct 2020 to 31 Oct 2020 Transport Month 2020

1 Oct 2020 to 30 Oct 2020 Marine Month 2020

1 Oct 2020 to 31 Oct 2020 Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2020

21 Sep 2020 to 18 Oct 2020 Eye Care Awareness Month 2020


Other important dates in the month: 

1 Oct 2020 International Day of Older Persons 2020

5 to 20 Oct Employment and Labour hosts virtual Employment Equity workshops across the country

5 Oct 2020 World Habitat Day 2020

9 Oct 2020 Partnership against HIV/AIDS Anniversary 2020

9 Oct 2020 to 19 Oct 2020 National Nutrition Week and National Obesity Week 2020      

10 Oct 2020 World Hospice and Palliative Care Day 2020

10 Oct 2020 World Sight Day 2020

11 Oct 2020 International Day of the Girl Child 2020

12 Oct 2020 World Arthritis Day 2020

15 Oct 2020 International Day of Rural Women 2020      

15 Oct 2020 Global Handwashing Day 2020

16 Oct 2020 World Food Day 2020

16 Oct 2020 World Spine Day 2020

17 Oct 2020 World Trauma Day 2020

20 Oct 2020 World Osteoporosis Day 2020

28 Oct 2020 to 3 Nov 2020 World Stroke Awareness Week 2020


In the media

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Should you wish to read Current Awareness guides of previous years, please visit the archive:






Looking for upcoming conferences?

If you are looking for forthcoming conferences, the following websites are helpful:

Golden oldies



Perception of health risk among students in the Northern Province, South Africa

  • Author Karl Peltzer1
  • Source : Journal of Psychology in AfricaVolume 9, Issue 2, Jan 1999, p. 186 - 199
  • For health promotion to be effective it is important that it be informed by the subjective perceptions of those at risk from illness. Subjective beliefs about illness are at the centre of psychological theories of illness behaviour. One hundred and twenty-two secondary school pupils and 147 undergraduate students in South Africa were asked to the estimate the risks and consequences of 40 illnesses or problems which constitute risks to health in their Province. The four problems judged to have the highest incidence were HIV/AlDS (69.5percent), Road Traffic Accidents (61.5percent), Sexually Transmitted Diseases (61.5percent) and abortion (48.5percent). Secondary school students perceived health risks as significantly higher than that of university students. Generally, students were able to identify those illnesses, which pose the greatest problems for hospital services, and which pose the greatest threats to life. However, the risks were overestimated. The major expressed health education needs were mv I AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, which reflect the highest perceived health risks in this sample. Implications of the research findings for health promotion are discussed.

Gender differences in aspects of psychological well-being

  • AuthorsBrett RoothmanDoret K. Kirsten and Marie P. Wissing
  • Source: South African Journal of Psychology 33, pp 212 - 218 (2003)
  • The aim of this study was to determine whether men and women differ with regard to aspects of psychological well-being. For the purposes of this study, a meta-analysis was performed on data from a trans-university project, involving a multicultural availability sample of 378. The participants each completed 13 scales that measure psychological well-being in affective, physical, cognitive, spiritual, self and social aspects. Statistically significant gender differences with small to medium practical effects were found. Men scored higher on physical selfconcept, automatic thoughts (positive), constructive thinking, cognitive flexibility, total self-concept, and fortitude. Women scored higher on the expression of affect, somatic symptoms, and religious well-being. No significant gender differences were found on sense of coherence, satisfaction with life, affect balance, emotional intelligence, self-efficacy, and the social components of self-concept and of fortitude. The results are in line with gender stereotypes and traditional socialisation practices and possibly reflect the impact of longstanding social inequity between men and women.