Mental Health Awareness Month
The month of July marks mental health awareness month.
During the month, the Western Cape Minister of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, will conduct various visits throughout the province to raise awareness around mental health.
Due to the high rate of substance abuse, acuity of patients and other social factors, the Western Cape experiences high degree of service pressures for mental health patients. During the previous year, the Western Cape recorded some 43 921 outpatient mental health cases.
Despite these pressures, the Western Cape Department of Health continues to provide quality psychiatric services for citizens by running innovative projects to mitigate readmissions. In addition, there are examples of good collaboration between departments and communities to collectively work in a patient-centred way.
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES IN THE WESTERN CAPE:
There are four psychiatric hospitals in the Western Cape - Alexandra, Lentegeur, Stikland and Valkenberg.
The sub-acute facilities are New Beginnings, supported by Stikland Hospital, and William Slater, supported by Valkenberg Hospital. Additionally, the Mental Health Review Board located in the Cape Town Metro District provides added support.
Together these facilities support the integration of mental health services into general care settings in line with the Mental Health Care Act, 17 of 2002, and provide access to the full package of psychiatric hospital services to the citizens of the Western Cape. The psychiatric hospitals continue to provide an outreach and support service to acute regional and district hospitals.
Western Cape Government Health is addressing the growing need for care of patients with mental illness, by improving access to treatment and counselling at primary health care level. A number of district and secondary level facilities provide for admission of people with mental illnesses in line with the Mental Health Care Act 17 of 2002. The Department has also implemented a policy decision to build fit for purpose psychiatric wards at all large District hospitals as well as the Regional hospital units.
As part of the Health Care 2030 vision, mental health services in the province will be integrated into community-based, primary health care- and acute hospital platforms and service delivery. Only those services requiring a more specialised level of intervention will be treated within the specialist hospital platform.
The Health Care 2030 vision will also allow for continued emphasis to be placed on district mental health teams managing the acute psychiatric burden of disease.
MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS AND MENTAL HEALTH COMMUNITY OUTREACH IN THE WESTERN CAPE:
There are various outreach initiatives that are routinely and consistently done by arrangement with the psychiatric hospitals in the Western Cape. This is when our mental health professionals, psychiatrists, psychiatry registrars and psychologists provide care at clinics, Regional, District Hospitals and/or Community Health Centres.
In addition, the Primary Healthcare (PHC) service, offers mental health services, whereby they identify, diagnose and treat common mental health conditions, and organise the referral of complicated mental health problems to more appropriate levels of mental health care.
If an individual is suffering from a mental health condition, you can go to your local clinic where a health worker will assess you and offer initial treatment.
In the Metro, Southern Cape Karoo and West Coast Winelands regions, community health worker may refer an individual for more specialised care offered by a mental health (psychiatric) nurse, when necessary.
Treatment may include medication as well as short-term individual and/or group counselling and support. The mental health nurse may consult with the psychologist or psychiatrist (or other members of the mental health team) when additional expertise is required. If necessary, the mental health nurse may set up an appointment with one of these specialists for further assessment at the PHC clinic.
Part of being mentally healthy, is knowing when you might need to get some help or support - to know when perhaps you may be experiencing a more serious problem. You can be diagnosed with a mental illness and in fact feel and live a mentally healthy life. With the right kind of treatment, you can lead a productive life, hold down a job, have loving and trusting relationships, be connected to others, have a clear direction for your life and feel like you are making a valuable contribution to society.
The Department of Health often receives clients battling addiction (substance abuse) at the very end of their journey when they visit our facilities under very difficult conditions.
The quadruple burden of disease which places enormous strain on the public health system is exacerbated by the abuse of substances like drugs and alcohol. Besides the adverse effects on one’s health, substance abuse has given rise to mental illnesses in the province which has created a massive burden on our public health facilities.
Help is available, visit your nearest health facility and find out how you can be assisted.
PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALS: WESTERN CAPE
Lentegeur Hospital is a psychiatric hospital which operates in the Mitchells Plain Health District of the Metro Region.
Telephone: 021 370 1111/ 1408
Fax: 021 371 7359
Alexandra Hospital is a specialist mental health facility, offering treatment and rehabilitation for adults, adolescents and children with complex mental health needs and intellectual disabilities.
Telephone: 021 503 5000 / 5009
Fax: 021 503 5037
Valkenberg Hospital is a psychiatric hospital which operates in the Cape Town Central Health District of the Metro Region.
Telephone: 021 440 3167
Fax: 021 440 3250
Stikland Hospital is a psychiatric hospital which operates in the Tygerberg Eastern Health District of the Metro Region.
Telephone: 021 940 4400/ 4403
Fax: 021 940 4559
PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL CATCHMENT AREAS
ACUTE ADULT PSYCHIATRY
· Valkenberg Hospital
Klipfontein, Southern and Western sub districts in Metro and Eden and Central Karoo rural
· Stikland Hospital
Northern and Tygerberg and the Eerste River Hospital drainage of Eastern sub districts in Metro and West Coast and Drakenstein in rural (Paarl Hospital)
· Lentegeur Hospital
Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha and the Helderberg Hospital drainage of Eastern Rural the Boland portion of Winelands (Worcester Hospital drainage) and the Overberg
CHILD AND ADOLESCENT SERVICE
In-Patient service is provided at Lentegeur for the entire Western Cape.
FORENSIC OBSERVATIONS AND MENTALLY ILL PRISONERS
Valkenberg for the entire Western Cape then transferred to Lentegeur as appropriate.
· Adult support Lentegeur Northern, Tygerberg Eastern , Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha Rural same as for psychiatry
· Acute children's service for the whole Province
· Adult support Klipfontein, Southern, Western , West Coast, Drakenstein, Eden
· Central Adult acute service for whole Province, Challenging Behaviour acute service for adults whole province
Spokesperson for the Western Cape Minister of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo
Tel: 021 483 5862
Western Cape Government: Health
Generalist Specialist Services
021 918 1671
083 644 3363