Please find a list of public psychological support services and resources below:
In the case of an emergency please contact the police on 10111 or your local hospital or ambulance service.
Psychological counselling and crisis
LifeLine Southern Africa
24-hour crisis intervention service. “Emotional First Aid station”. Free, confidential telephone counselling, rape counselling, trauma counselling, Aids counselling, and a range of other services. Not-for-profit organisation.
- National counselling line: 0861 322 322
- Counsellors help callers with challenges such as trauma, suicide, and relationship issues.
National Aids helpline:
- Tel.: 0800 012 322
- Run in conjunction with the Department of Health, this national toll-free helpline receives around 3 000 calls a day.
Children in crisis
Childline South Africa
Assistance from trained counsellors for abused children, young people, and their families. Not-for-profit organisation.
- 24-hour toll-free helpline: 08000 55 555
Information, support and assistance to children and their families. Issues dealt with include physical and sexual abuse, substance abuse, behavioural problems, legal advice and trafficking.
- Website: www.childline.org.za
Child Welfare South Africa
The co-ordinating body for more than 260 affiliated child welfare societies, organisations and community outreach projects. It is the largest non-profit, non-governmental organisation in South Africa in the fields of child protection and child care and family development.
- Report neglect or abuse of a child: 0861 4 CHILD (24453)
- National: 011 452-4110
- E-mail: [email protected]
- Website: www.childwelfaresa.org.za
Jo’burg Child Welfare Society
Services Johannesburg and the broader community. Offers services to abandoned, abused and neglected children. Also facilitates adoption and foster care, as well as parenting workshops and training services.
- Head office: 011 298 8500
- Website: www.jhbchildwelfare.org.za
Police Child Protection Units
The SA Police Service’s Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit Special police units investigate violent crimes against children and offer specialised services to child victims of crime. There are units around the country.
- Emergency number: 10111
- Crime Stop: 08600 10111
- Report cases of child abuse for police investigation: [email protected]
Women in crisis
People Opposed to Woman Abuse (Powa)
Gauteng-based organisation offering shelter, counselling and legal support to women in abusive relationships, rape survivors, survivors of incest.
- Helpline: 083 765 1235
Stop Gender Abuse
Crisis counselling for women who have been raped or abused, advice and support for people wanting to support women in need of help, legal and other options available for abused women and rape survivors.
- Toll-free helpline: 0800 150 150
Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust works to prevent rape, offers healing to survivors, and works towards legal reforms that will ensure perpetrators are brought to justice. Services include counselling, court preparation, support groups, important contact numbers. Non-governmental organisation.
- Counselling lines:
- 021 447-9762 (Observatory)
- 021 633 9229 (Athlone)
- 021 361 9085 (Khayalitsha)
- Website: www.rapecrisis.org.za
Rape emergency information, services, advice, links. Non-governmental organisation.
- Website: www.speakout.org.za
- Tel.: 0800 150 150
- National toll-free helpline for survivors, witnesses and perpetrators of gender-based violence
Alcohol and substance use
SA National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
Sanca provides specialised and affordable prevention and treatment services for alcohol and other drug dependence. A national body established in 1956, it has independently operated societies and counselling centres in all nine provinces.
- Sanca – Johannesburg: 08611 REHAB (73422) or 011 673 0400 or www.sancacentral.co.za
- Sanca – Western Cape: 021 945 4080/1 or www.sancawc.co.za
Department of Social Development’s Substance Abuse Line Offers support, guidance and help for people addicted to drugs and alcohol as well as their families. Run in partnership with the SA Depression and Anxiety Group.
- National toll-free helpline: 0800 12 13 14 or SMS 32312
Mental health, depression and anxiety
SA Depression and Anxiety Group
Sadag campaigns to eliminate discrimination and stigma in the field of mental health and to support, educate and assist the public, patients and their families with mental health problems and issues. Provides information on depression, panic disorder, social phobia, generalised anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, bi-polar mood disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia and an array of other psychiatric conditions – including those affecting children and the elderly, and suicidal behaviour. Can help you find a psychiatrist, psychologist, or GP with special interest in mental health in your area. Helpline staffed by trained and counsellors.
- Suicide crisis line: 0800 567 567 or SMS 31393 (8am – 8pm, seven days a week)
- Help line: 011 262 6396 (8am – 8pm, seven days a week)
- Website: www.sadac.org
Family and marriage
Family and Marriage Association of SA
Famsa supports families through stressful situations: offers counselling and education to strengthen marriage and other relationships in the family. Assists with divorce, mediation, domestic violence, trauma, grief counselling etc. Famsa has 27 offices around the country.
- National office: 011 975 7106/7
- E-mail: [email protected]
- Website: www.famsawc.org.za/counselling-services
Pregnancy, contraception and abortion
Marie Stopes Clinics
A government-approved health facility with clinics throughout South Africa. Offers safe abortions, family planning services including birth control, pregnancy tests, male and female sterilisation, HIV testing and ante-natal services. Fees charged according to client’s income bracket.