Mental health awareness event empowers Ennerdale community - Akeso Alberton

A successful community outreach event

Wednesday, May 29 2019

A successful community outreach event, hosted by the Recovery Good News Centre and Akeso Alberton psychiatric hospital, was held in Ennerdale on Saturday, 25 May.

The event aimed to dispel myths and misconceptions around mental health issues while empowering the community with information about the professional resources available to help individuals and their families requiring treatment and support. 

Pictured at the event were community activist, Dereleen James; Department of Education educational psychologist, Eleanor Bosch; specialist psychiatrist at Akeso Alberton, Dr Bokang Letlotlo; psychiatric intake clinician at Akeso, Megan Hosking; recovery specialist, coach and counsellor, Cherforice Absalon; and Akeso Alberton hospital manager, Gathlyn Watkins.

The event, held at the Recovery Good News Centre in Mid Ennerdale, was well attended by members of the community. They were given an opportunity to ask questions and engage with the expert speakers about personal or family struggles with mental health. Those attending the event were also given the option to complete a self-assessment survey, which they could discuss with the mental health professionals.

“We often find that when people do not have an understanding of mental health, they may not recognise symptoms of mental problems in themselves or their loved ones. Many people go through difficult times and may require expert support, particularly when the problems cause disruption to daily functioning at work or in their family and social relationships. This is no different to consulting a doctor when one has an illness affecting the body,” Hosking explains.

“Too often, when people are unaware that help is available they turn to drugs or alcohol to seek temporary relief, but this can lead to addiction and the many complex problems that go with substance abuse. Our message to the community was that help is available, and there is no shame in reaching out when support is needed.

“It was a day filled with spirit and hope, and provided a wonderful opportunity to engage with community members about their experiences, and to share some of the options available for treatment and support for those in need,” Hosking concluded.

Ends

Issued by:          MNA on behalf of Akeso Alberton
Contact:            Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville or Estene Lotriet-Vorster
Telephone:        (011) 469 3016
Email:                martina@mnapr.co.za, graeme@mnapr.co.za, meggan@mnapr.co.za or estene@mnapr.co.za