Health

Creating social capital for mental health: A case study of the Durban advocacy walk

By Suntosh R Pillay On October 15, the Durban community will meet at the North Beach amphitheatre and ‘Step up for Mental Health’. This will be a mass community initiative for Mental Health Awareness Month, organised by the KZN Mental Health Advocacy Group, of which PsySSA KZN is a partner. It is community and social…

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Harm reduction versus abstinence: experts debate drug laws

By Ian Broughton A protest march during SA Drug Policy Week in Cape Town. (File photo: Ashraf Hendricks) South African drug policy is rooted in racism and class discrimination. This was the view expressed by Dr Ethan Nadelmann at the opening of SA Drug Policy Week in Cape Town earlier this month. Nadelmann is the…

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At age 55 I began to hear voices: My journey into and out of madness

by Greg Shankland It was while living in New York City at age 55 that I suddenly began to hear voices, out of the blue. How did a smart, accomplished businessman succumb to fear and paranoia, to mania and unusual beliefs, so suddenly and so quickly? Importantly, how did I break through it? The first…

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Single vs two-parent families: A Western Cape study of well-being

by Dr Eugene Lee Davids Several theories exist within the field of psychology. These theories act as lenses to make sense of the world we live in and are important in understanding our interactions within the world as human beings. In South Africa, a country rich in diversity, a theoretical framework that I find very…

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The technology that is threatening life as we know it

We are currently witnessing a pervasive and accelerating recording, modelling and processing of data pertaining to human beings as well as other living species (and even inorganic things) on a scale that surpasses what most of us can imagine. This has been made possible by bio-technologies which seem as if they are the incipient actualisation…

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Blood Brothers and socio-economic inequality

At the dramatic culmination of Willy Russell’s gripping musical, Blood Brothers (1983), one of the twins who were parted soon after birth, Mickey, expresses his resentment at his mother, Mrs Johnstone, for not having been the one (Eddie) who was given away to a rich, childless woman, exclaiming something like: “I could have been him!”…

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Has humankind really “progressed”, in the Enlightenment sense of the word?

In philosophy, there is a saying, by Hegel, that the owl of Minerva only spreads its wings at dusk. Hence, when we take stock of our situation today, with the benefit of such hindsight, what do we perceive? Has humankind really “progressed”, in the Enlightenment sense of the word? In fact, does “progress” make any…

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How to prevent another Life Esidimeni tragedy – experts speak out

By Suntosh R. Pillay On the surface of the disaster caused by the Gauteng Department of Health, it seems bizarre that vulnerable people were treated with no respect for their human rights, in a country whose Constitution fiercely protects them, supported by explicit legislation on the rights of the mentally ill (the Mental Health Care…

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Stop killing our wild animals!

In 2005 I spent three weeks in China, attending conferences in Nanjing and Beijing, and travelling to several other cities. At one point I participated in a hike about 90 kilometres outside Beijing, in an area where the great wall of China is quite dilapidated, unlike in the more touristy areas. It was an enjoyable…

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The resilience of a Somali community in Joburg

By Jennifer Sigamoney Globally, South Africa’s democracy is venerated and remains a symbol of hope for the rest of the continent. Consequently, however, to the initiation of true, representative egalitarianism in 1994, South Africa has attracted more asylum seekers than any other nation. The focus of this article is a small Somali community of political…

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