Deputy President, Paul Mashatile, has expressed concern over the rise of mental health cases in South Africa, particularly among the youth.
Mashatile made the remarks at the Department of Health’s mental health two-day conference, which wrapped up in Johannesburg yesterday.
Delivering his keynote address, Mashatile said while almost a third of South Africans suffer from mental illness only about 27% of people actually receive treatment.
Other speakers at the event also touched on strategies needed to tackle mental health problems in the LGBTIQI+ community. A recent study by The Trevor Project found that LGBT youth are four times more likely to commit suicide than their peers.
Clinical Psychologist, Janine Clayton, urged healthcare practitioners and South Africans not to use a one-size fits solution to the scourge.
The mental health conference was the first of its kind in the country and came ahead of World Mental Health Month to be held in May, which will be hosted under the theme “Join the Movement: Time to Talk About Mental Health.”
South Africa is among the world’s country’s ranked lowest when it comes to mental wellbeing, with the country scoring the lowest average score on the mental health well-being scale.
Mashatile acknowledged that broader efforts must be made by government to ensure that adequate public healthcare facilities are available for those suffering from mental illness.
Written by Naomi Kobbie
Written by: Nokwazi Qumbisa