An average of 1400 people call the South African Depression and Anxiety Suicide Helpline every day. And those are just the people who know it exists and are able to reach out for help, either for themselves or for a loved one.
Journalist Marion Scher has spent years speaking to people suffering from depression or some other form of mental illness and felt compelled to share some of these stories in Surfacing. Each chapter tells a different and very personal story, from a Springbok rugby player faced overnight with mental illness to a successful businessman who attempted suicide three times in one day. A new mother whose horrific real experiences didn’t match the Instagram photos of blissful motherhood she had expected, and a mother’s heartbreaking story of surviving the loss of her teenage daughter to suicide. The common thread that runs through the stories is how each person learnt to deal with their illness, conquer their personal mountains and go on to lead healthy, fulfilled lives – more than they’d ever hoped for.
Most stories of mental illness go untold, hidden away, for fear of the stigma that mental illness holds. Marion hopes this book will inspire you to reach out for help for yourself or to offer encouragement to people you know who are battling secret demons.