Help for mental health

Cape Mental Health Mitchell’s Plain District team members field social worker Mastura Salasa-Schaffers, intake social worker Amy King, auxillary social worker Claudia Cogill and senior rehabilitation worker Lael Samuels.

Mental health patients and caregivers can get help from Cape Mental Health in Mitchell’s Plain.

The non-profit organisation’s Mitchell’s Plain District hosted an open day at Westridge library on Wednesday September 27.

This comes a month before the 29th Cape Town Kite Festival 2023, its annual fundraiser and international event to help raise awareness of mental health and break its stigma.

Yesterday, Tuesday October 10, was World Mental Health Day, an international day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma.

This year’s theme is “Mental health is a universal human right”.

Cape Mental Health, the oldest mental health organisation in South Africa and a founding member of the World Federation for Mental Health, formed in London in 1948.

Auxiliary social worker Claudia Cogill said they wanted to bring resilience and hope to communities.

“Let us take you on a journey of Cape Mental Health services. So much changed during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown and it is time for us to reconnect with other service providers and discuss how we can render services in the best interest of our clients. Together we can move past the negative,” she said.

Field social worker Mastura Salasa-Schaffers said many youth were overwhelmed with social pressures.

“Teenagers go through so much these days. In my opinion they are feeling the pressure with social media and they feel things so intensely,” she said.

Assistant librarian Zainonesa Barnes asked how she could help young patrons who grew up in front of them and were now “depressed, confused about their identities and unemployed”.

Ms Salasa-Schaffers advised that teenagers be encouraged to visit —the South African Depression and Anxiety Group.

“Encourage them to go online and connect with youth with lived experiences of stress, anxiety or depression. Go on Instagram and social media where they can learn coping mechanisms and be empowered to seek professional help,” she said.

She said when youth are first approached about their mental health their first instincts would be to rebel but once they see there are others with similar challenges they would be open to seeking professional help.

Ms Salasa-Schaffers and her colleagues listed various services available in Mitchell’s Plain, including; Fountain House, at 179 Dagbreek Avenue, Westridge — which gives mentally ill people the ability to develop their skills and abilities, to gain work experience and to be integrated into society (“Mental health help available in ’Plain,” Plainsman December 20, 2017).

Cape Mental Health offers services at the Mitchell’s Plain Erika Special Education and Care Centre, in Spreeu Rocklands, for children with intellectual disability.

Training Workshops Unlimited, another project of Cape Mental Health, based behind Liberty Promenade Mall, is for people with borderline, mild and moderate intellectual disabilities. Call 021 447 9040 or 021 638 3143 for more information.

The Edukite Competition prize-giving and fun fly will take place at the Zandvlei Lookout on Promenade Road in Muizenberg on Saturday October 21 between 10am and 1pm.

For any mental health queries call 021 447 9040.