Provincial Strategy for Mental Health
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on all health care services, including mental health services.
There has been a noticeable increase in the number of mental admissions, particularly female mental health care users and adolescents.
Furthermore, those with severe mental health conditions where recovery is complicated by substance use disorders is increasing.
This includes an increase in mental health conditions precipitated by COVID-19 such as anxiety disorders, complicated grief, major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and somatic disorders.
Resilience and mental health have also been compromised due to the changes, fears and economic distress.
It is abundantly clear that the response to the mental health pressures requires a whole-of-government and a whole-of-society approach. Dealing with substance abuse requires an intensive effort from all of society, not only the health sector.
For the financial year, 2022/23 an additional R30 million has been provided in the budget for additional mental health services for the province.
To address this challenge, we will specifically focus on the most vulnerable groups:
- R 5, 718, 396 has been allocated to Child and Adolescent Services, and R6, 164 424 to Psychogeriatric Services. These funds will assist with transferring patients faster from District Hospitals where the infrastructure is available and in good condition.
- R 8, 000, 000 has been allocated to rural Districts to capacitate George and Paarl Hospitals to prevent transfers to Metro.
Furthermore, the National Department has provided a Conditional Grant which has injected just over R48 million over the next 4 years towards strengthening Primary Health care services. This funding is specifically allocated for the appointment of Psychiatrists, Registered Counsellors and Allied Health staff across the province. 18 Registered Counsellors, two psychologists and three Psychiatrists have been employed across the province during this financial year.
The Western Cape Government’s strategic goal is to increase wellness within communities embracing the notion of adopting healthy lifestyles and supporting families through the whole of government and society approach. This is based on physical wellness and includes mental wellness, which can prevent mental illness.