The Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH) is actively implementing initiatives to expand mental health resources, including specialised professionals and rehabilitation services, to enhance the accessibility and availability of mental health services in the province.
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Several Gauteng facilities have undergone or are refurbished, intending to add 206 acute mental health beds by the conclusion of the 2023/24 financial year as reported by South African Government. Hospitals involved in this expansion include Bertha Gxowa, South Rand, Tshwane District, Tembisa, Edenvale, Dr George Mukhari, and Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospitals. Currently, the province offers 1,896 acute mental health beds.
To further support these endeavours, the GDoH hosted a two-day Mental Health Seminar on October 26 and 27 at the Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre in Boksburg. The event focused on the theme “Mental Health is a Universal Human Right.”
The seminar aimed to empower civil society, healthcare workers, and other stakeholders to raise awareness about mental health, mental illness, and the promotion of the rights and responsibilities of mental healthcare users. It also sought to bridge the gap in mental health service access across the province, ensuring mental health integration at all care levels and providing the necessary human resources.
Furthermore, the conference addressed the current increase in mental health disorders, which can be attributed to socioeconomic factors and rising substance abuse.
Efforts are underway to implement universal preventive measures aimed at reducing the risk of mental ill-health. This includes promoting social inclusion policies, offering support and investment in vulnerable groups, and investing in communities and young people to reduce crime.
There is also a focus on well-being interventions across various life stages, from pregnancy and early childhood to older adulthood, to improve social determinants of health and address mental health stigma and discrimination.
To strengthen District Health Services, the GDoH has established District Specialist Mental Health Teams, Clinical Community Psychiatric Teams, and Non-governmental Organisations Governance and Compliance Teams, all integrated into the District Health System. These teams collaborate with various stakeholders to provide preventive and interventional mental healthcare.
The Gauteng College of Nursing also addresses the shortage of mental health care practitioners and specialist nurses by advocating for program accreditation and nurse training to meet the increasing mental health care demands.
For more information, please contact:
Motalatale Modiba, Head of Communication
Cell: 064 803 0808
E-mail: [email protected]
Tshepo Shawa, Spokesperson for the MEC for Health
Cell: 072 222 6333
E-mail: [email protected]
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