10 September 2008

What is Casual Day all about?

Are you wearing casual wear to work today? If so, you are helping thousands of disabled people become more able.

Are you wearing casual wear to work today? If so, you are helping thousands of disabled people become more able.

Casual Day takes place on the first Friday of September each year to raise funds for people with disabilities and increase public awareness of issues surrounding disability.

Every R5 collected goes towards six national beneficiaries, representing more than 400 special schools, work centres, welfare offices and facilities providing services for people with disabilities.

Over R22, 5 million has been raised over the last seven years which has helped provide wheelchairs for people with physical disabilities and facilities for the mentally ill, epilepsy sufferers as well as for the deaf and blind.

Mental illness can affect anyone
At least 75% of all people will suffer from mental illness at some stage in their lives, according to the South African Federation for Mental Health.

Pointing out to the fact that mental illness is more widespread than most people realise, Ms Zakia Saloojee, spokesperson for the SA Federation for Mental Health, said in a statement that in about 80 - 90% of all cases of physical illness, mental disturbances were usually the primary cause.

To read more about mental illness and health, see Health24's Psychology and Mind section.

Deaf facilities in high demand
Approximately one out of every thousand children born has a severe or total hearing loss, and it is one of the most common handicapping conditions.

Facilities for deaf children are limited, and each of the 42 schools for the Deaf in SA has a waiting list longer than its current enrolment.

To read more about deafness and hearing, see Health24's A-Z of deafness.

Ancient disease still shunned

Epilepsy has been in existence as long as there have been humans. Early on, it was thought that seizures were the result of demons and spirits inhabiting a person. As a result people with epilepsy were treated with suspicion and mistrust.

In many cases today people with epilepsy are still regarded with suspicion, at least however, the condition is better understood, and in many instances sufferers are able to control it.

To read more about epilepsy, see Health24's Epilepsy Centre.

Blindness is preventable
More than 80% of blindness is preventable or curable.

To read more about eyesight, see Health24's Eye Centre. - Health24


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