Survive & Thrive


Even those of us who are passionate about working rural can experience stress and burnout, if you do not look after yourself you run the risk of mental health problems such as anxiety, panic attacks and depression. RuDASA is committed to finding or developing tools and support structures for Rural Clinicians so that they can not only survive, but thrive in rural areas. We ran our 1st Doctors Retreat in Eastern Cape in 2020, and we are currently developing a Mentoring Programme which will include Rural Buddies, Rural Champions, Rural Retreats, and a long term goal of a formal Mentoring CPD event.

If you are doing your Internship or Community Service you may like to join Africa Health Placements CSO Connect programme

For support for students please go to the Survive & Thrive Students  page.


Thriving in Rural Health looks at three aspects important to thriving as a doctor in a rural health setting: 

  • Tools to strengthen resilience in yourself and your colleagues
  • Simplified approaches to improve and change inefficient systems in the workplace
  • Practical and legal aspects of healthcare worker reporting (VOICE)
  The Wellness for Effective Leadership (WEL) Programme is a personal development course designed to assist managers in the public sector to improve their wellness, to develop their emotional intelligence and personal and interpersonal competencies, and to deal effectively with stress and the risks of burnout. The programme was developed in 2009 in response to a crisis in service delivery in a rural area, and now maintains a strong focus on improving wellness in order to improve service delivery.
  CSO Connect Programme: Over the past 12+ years, AHP has placed more than 4,350 doctors in underserved areas. We’ve learned a lot over that time, about what you’ll experience during your community service, and about who to contact when you need help.

SADAG is Africa’s largest mental health support and advocacy group, serving as a support network for the thousands of South Africans who live with mental health problems. It has on its board a powerful team of Patients, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and General Practitioners. SADAG manages a 16-line counselling-and-referral call centre, and is the voice of patient advocacy, working in urban, peri-urban, and the most rural communities across South Africa. Find out about their Rural Outreach

Suicide Crisis Line
0800 567 567

Discovery Medical Students & Young Doctors Helpline
0800 323 323

SADAG Mental Health Line
Speak to a trained counsellor 011 234 4837 or 0800 20 50 26 

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