Psycho-social support for people at risk during COVID-19 resctrictions | Western Cape Government



Psycho-social support for people at risk during COVID-19 resctrictions

27 May 2020

The Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez is urging all families and individuals in need of psycho-social support services, to utilize the department's services during the Covid-19 restrictions.

The provincial department of Social Development has put measures in place to support families and individuals in need of psycho-social support during and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.

Minister Fernandez said: “The psychological impact of the Covid-19 restrictions will continue for an indefinite time, hence, the department will continue working closely with its NPO funded partners and volunteers, to render much needed psycho-social support to families and individuals in need."

The provincial department of Social Development offers an array of programmes that provides specialized psycho-social support. These programmes include, amongst other; care and support to families programme, the child care and protection programme, the victim empowerment programme, substance abuse programme, the disability programme, as well as in the current social relief of distress programme. 

Minister Fernandez added: “Psycho-social support can be both preventive and restorative. It is preventive when it decreases the risk of developing mental health challenges. On the other hand, it is restorative when it helps individuals and communities to overcome and deal with psychosocial challenges that may have arisen from the shock and trauma caused by this humanitarian crisis.”

The psycho-social impact of this humanitarian crises includes; psychological and social challenges, at both the individual and community level.

In crises situations, an increase in social challenges is likely to be experienced. These challenges include; social breakdown, increase in gender-based violence,  psychological distress, mental health issues, and individual difficulties in conducting daily activities that often manifest.

The provincial department of Social Development with the support of its funded NPOs and its professional volunteers, makes use of various awareness programmes that are integrated with psycho-social interventions, to help those people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thank you to NPOs, Social Work Professionals, Support staff and Volunteers:

Since government is not the only organisation that renders psycho-social support services to those communities and individuals in need – I also wish to thank the NPOs, NGOs, who help us provide these much-needed services. At present, the department funds over 500 social workers in the NPO sector in the Western Cape.

I would also like to pay special tribute to all our service workers, and particularly our social work professionals, all support staff, as well as professional volunteers, who are out there every day, working hard to ensure that services to the most vulnerable continue, whilst dealing with the personal health threat of contracting the coronavirus.

Contact number and further information:

If anyone requires any form of psycho-social support, please contact us on our hotline on 0800 220 250, to be connected to your nearest local office.

We would also like to remind the public that the Gender-Based Violence Command Centre 0800 428 428 is accessible 24 hours a day, to assist with GBV cases.

We urge the public to access credible information on

For more information about our other services, please refer to the Western Cape Department’s Website below:

Media Enquiries: 

Joshua Covenant Chigome

Spokesperson for the Minister of Social Development, Minister Sharna Fernandez

Tel: 021 483 9217


Private Bag X9112, Cape Town, 8000

14 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town, 8001