Walking for good mental health

2019-10-09 06:02
PHOTO: SUPPLIEDSome participants of the previous A Pome Fun Walk.

PHOTO: SUPPLIEDSome participants of the previous A Pome Fun Walk.

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BECAUSE South Africa has started observing and commemorating Mental Health Awareness month with the goal of educating the public about mental illnesses; local organisations such as A Pome Mental Illness Advocacy have joined the movement by embarking in initiatives that are aimed at reducing the stigma and discrimination experienced by those who live with mental illnesses.

They will be hosting a fun 5 km walk on November 2 to spread awareness around the stigmas that are associated with mental illness.

Founder of the advocacy, Ayanda Mavundla, was diagnosed with depression in 2017 and from her experiences of being hospitalised, and her family not fully understanding what depression is; she realised there was a great need in society to educate and enlighten people especially in the the black community about mental health.

The initiative is led by Mavundla and her executive members Nonhlahla Ndlovu and Zoleka Dlamini.

The theme for the fun walk is Color Splash Mental Illness Awareness.

“Main objective is to raise awareness and erase the stigmas around mental illness while having fun and also offering moral support to people living with depressive disorders,” said Dlamini.

She described the advocacy as a support structure to those living with mental illness, saying they also do programmes and events that assist them in interacting with the general public about mental health issues such as the upcoming “A Pome Fun Walk”.

Funds from the walks will go towards supporting the organisation’s services such as home visits, food schemes, group therapy, and one on one sessions for people affected by mental issues in the community.

The 5 km walk will commence from Townhill Psychiatric Hospital, via Commercial Road, to the City Hall down Church Street to Boshoff Street and back to Townhill Psychiatric Hospital.

“The walk will start at 7 am on November 2. Entry fee is R150. With the fee, participants will receive a T-shirt and a cap.

Free entry for children under 10 years old. Entries are now open.

World Mental Health Awareness Week started on Monday, October 7 and ends on Friday, October 11. For more information on the “A Pome Fun Walk”, contact Zoleka Dlamini on 081 735 3602 or e-mail dlaminizoleka2@gmail.com.

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