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Current Awareness 2023: October

Keeping you up to date with news and events in South Africa

Request a Literature Search

Need sources for your literature review? Struggling to find sources for your assignment, research proposal or thesis?

The Library can assist with a literature search, which is a systematic and comprehensive search for published, academic material on your specific subject/topic. How do you request one? Simply go to Request a literature search .

If you are experiencing problems accessing the form, please use this link

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 South African Federation for Mental Health (SAFMH)

The South African Federation for Mental Health (SAFMH) is a national non-governmental organisation and was founded in 1920, originally called The South African National Council for Mental Hygiene and the Care of the Feeble-Minded. Through the years it has changed its name a number of times, eventually settling on the South African Federation for Mental Health in 1990. Since its humble beginnings, SAFMH has played an important role as an advocacy body, promoting community mental health care and deinstitutionalisation and fighting for the rights of persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities.

Today, SAFMH is the largest national mental health federation in South Africa, with the national office situated in Johannesburg, and 17 constituent bodies [known as Mental Health Societies] located in all nine provinces.

Sapien Labs

Sapien Labs is a 501(c) (3) not for profit organization founded in 2016 with a mission to understand and enable the human mind.

Our mission is motivated by:

  • The curiosity of us all to understand ourselves and our similarities and differences.
  • An imperative to understand the impact and consequences of our changing environment and technology on the dynamical function of the human brain, particularly in the context of rising mental health concerns and growing inequality.
  • A belief that the understanding of the brain and mind belongs to us all and that globally inclusive participation is essential.

Sapien Labs is based in the Washington DC area with a globally distributed team across four continents.

Further reading

"Mental health" AND “workplace”


The Mental State of the World Report is an annual publication of the Global Mind Project (previously the Mental Health Million Project) that provides a view of the evolving mental wellbeing of the global Internet-enabled population. Each year the report presents the mental state of populations over the year, trends relative to previous years, and insights into key drivers of these trends. In addition, Rapid Reports published through the year provide insight and perspectives on various aspects of mental wellbeing based on the data.

The 2022 Report is based on 407,959 responses from 64 countries in nine languages.

Database of the Month


Alternate Name(s) PsycINFO

PsycINFO published by the American Psychological Associations (APA) is a renowned resource for abstracts of scholarly journal articles, book chapters, books, and dissertations, is the largest resource devoted to peer-reviewed literature in behavioral science and mental health. Included is information on the psychological aspects of related fields such as medicine, psychiatry, nursing, sociology, education, pharmacology, technology, linguistics, anthropology, business, law and others.

Unisa Open

The following sites on Unisa Open contains useful information for Unisa staff.

About the monthly 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 September

Why do we mark International Days?

International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.


Collage of elderly people

01 Oct    International Day of Older Persons (A/RES/45/106)

02 Oct    World Habitat Day (A/RES/40/202 A)

              International Day of Non-Violence (A/RES/61/271)

04 Oct   World Space Week, 4-10 October (A/RES/54/68)

05 Oct   World Teachers’ Day [UNESCO] ((27 C/INF.7))

07 Oct   World Cotton Day (A/RES/75/318)

09 Oct  World Post Day (UPU/1969/Res.C.11)


10 Oct   World Mental Health Day [WHO]

11 Oct   International Day of the Girl Child (A/RES/66/170)

13 Oct   International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (A/RES/64/200)

14 Oct   World Migratory Bird Day [UNEP]

15 Oct   International Day of Rural Women (A/RES/62/136)

16 Oct   World Food Day [FAO] (A/RES/35/70)

17 Oct   International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (A/RES/47/196)

24 Oct   Global Media and Information Literacy Week, 24-31 October (A/RES/75/267)

 United Nations Day (A/RES/168 (II))

 Disarmament Week, 24-30 October (A/RES/S-10/2 (p. 102))

 World Development Information Day (A/RES/3038 (XXVII))

27 Oct   World Day for Audiovisual Heritage [UNESCO] (UNESCO 33/C/Resolution 5)

29 Oct   International Day of Care and Support (A/RES/77/317)

31 Oct   World Cities Day (A/RES/68/239)

In the media

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Golden oldie

Prince, M., Patel, V., Saxena, S., Maj, M., Maselko, J., Phillips, M.R. and Rahman, A., 2007. No health without mental health. The lancet370 (9590), pp.859-877.  


About 14% of the global burden of disease has been attributed to neuropsychiatric disorders, mostly due to the chronically disabling nature of depression and other common mental disorders, alcohol-use and substance-use disorders, and psychoses. Such estimates have drawn attention to the importance of mental disorders for public health. However, because they stress the separate contributions of mental and physical disorders to disability and mortality, they might have entrenched the alienation of mental health from mainstream efforts to improve health and reduce poverty. The burden of mental disorders is likely to have been underestimated because of inadequate appreciation of the connectedness between mental illness and other health conditions. Because these interactions are protean, there can be no health without mental health. Mental disorders increase risk for communicable and non-communicable diseases, and contribute to unintentional and intentional injury. Conversely, many health conditions increase the risk for mental disorder, and comorbidity complicates help-seeking, diagnosis, and treatment, and influences prognosis. Health services are not provided equitably to people with mental disorders, and the quality of care for both mental and physical health conditions for these people could be improved. We need to develop and evaluate psychosocial interventions that can be integrated into management of communicable and non-communicable diseases. Health-care systems should be strengthened to improve delivery of mental health care, by focusing on existing programmes and activities, such as those which address the prevention and treatment of HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria; gender-based violence; antenatal care; integrated management of childhood illnesses and child nutrition; and innovative management of chronic disease. An explicit mental health budget might need to be allocated for such activities. Mental health affects progress towards the achievement of several Millennium Development Goals, such as promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women, reduction of child mortality, improvement of maternal health, and reversal of the spread of HIV/AIDS. Mental health awareness needs to be integrated into all aspects of health and social policy, health-system planning, and delivery of primary and secondary general health care.



Looking for upcoming conferences?

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


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