Tag Archives: mental health

‘A turning point for psychology in Africa’

The Pan-African Psychology Union (Papu) and the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) will host the first-ever continental psychology congress from September 18 to 21 at the International Convention Centre in Durban, South Africa. “This convening of psychology leaders marks a turning point for the African continent, as a critical hub of psychological thinking and…

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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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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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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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The 5 As: A checklist to step up for mental health

By Suntosh R Pillay It’s no secret that mental health has always been the Cinderella of the health system: locked up in a dark basement hoping never to be found. Or, when mental health does get a few good moments in the limelight, like Cinderella’s carriage it turns into a pumpkin at midnight and becomes…

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We’re all born naked, everything else is (a) drag

By Pierre Brouard When Caitlyn Jenner recently visited the Academy for Young Writers, an LGBTI-friendly school in a working-class New York neighbourhood, she was expecting some flak. In particular, from two youngsters, living non-binary lives, who had been vocal in their criticisms of her. Caitlyn was privileged, they said, had made disparaging remarks about “men…

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Social media has made us lonelier and more neurotic than ever before

I am guilty of posting some of those “Look at my life” statuses, the “I am so witty” tweet and the occasional “My food is calorific” Instagram post. But frivolousness aside, why is it that we live in a world where we’re more likely to put up a Facebook status about self-harm than actually talk…

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Normalising intimate partner violence among Soweto youth

By Matamela Makongoza, Mzikazi Nduna and Janan Dietrich One of the greatest challenges facing young people today is intimate partner violence. This is usually perpetrated by young men against their female partners. For instance, three out of 10 adolescent males in the Eastern Cape reported beating or raping their partners, and this type of intimate…

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Urgently rethinking mental health in South Africa

As troops of psychologists flocked into Joburg last month, Emperors Palace morphed into a marketplace of ideas. My everyday work context is a busy public hospital setting, so as I prepared for this annual congress, mental health was on my mind. And it still is, because October is mental health month, and Saturday was World…

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Xenophobia and violence: A call for psychological expertise

In recent months, the country has experienced gruesome incidents of xenophobia-related violence. Some South Africans attacked, injured and killed a number of non-nationals and South Africans. Businesses belonging to non-nationals were looted and burned. People were driven out of their homes and had to spend time in refugee tent camps. The scenes reported in the…

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