“If you don’t change, the change will always change you.”

Given Ndlela


Civil Society

Organisation / Company

South African Depression and Anxiety Group


Given Ndlela, 28, works at the South African Depression and Anxiety Group as a counsellor who offers one-on-one sessions to people suffering from mental health conditions. He is a qualified mental health counsellor and has been trained in helping people suffering from addiction and substance abuse. Given is very aware of the negative effects substance abuse has on communities and families. As a result, he goes to schools, churches and other organisations and teaches people about the different mental health conditions that can result from substance abuse and the other harmful effects of substance abuse. Given also focuses on working with men and what it means to be a man, because of the link with gender-based violence. He is involved in As’xoxe ndoda movement and the Boy Child Team. Given says he was born to find solutions to societal issues and is inspired by the vision he has for the change he wants to create in communities. He says his work is mostly inspired by what he sees around him; what people are going through and often don’t have anyone to speak to and he believes that what he does — counselling and education — will bring positive change to their mindsets and attitudes.


Qualified mental health counsellor


I assisted men who are going through different mental health issues. Another project is to assist community members who are suffering from substance abuse.


Looking at what the guy used to do and where he was, how he handles pressure has been and still influencing me.