Hospitals host patient soccer day

2015-09-15 06:00
Staff of Lentegeur hospital attended the mental health soccer day last week. Standing from left in front of the soccer team is Rochelle Cupido, Elsa Micheals, Lizette Heneke, Linda Oor and Maureen Williams. In front from left is Itani Nemutudi and Ie

Staff of Lentegeur hospital attended the mental health soccer day last week. Standing from left in front of the soccer team is Rochelle Cupido, Elsa Micheals, Lizette Heneke, Linda Oor and Maureen Williams. In front from left is Itani Nemutudi and Ie

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In the lead-up to World Mental Health Day – celebrated on Saturday 10 October – staff of Lentegeur psychiatric hospital challenged their counterparts at Valkenberg and Stikland hospitals to an interactive mental health soccer day on Tuesday last week.

Event coordinator Iesrafeel Abbas, an occupational therapist at Lentegeur hospital, says more than 100 patients participated in the soccer day held at the hospital.

“Each institution was allowed to enter a maximum of two teams, of which each team comprised of 14 players. Our aim for the tournament was to foster communal engagement, which in turn enhances well-being and enables mental healthcare clients to experience a certain level of competitiveness,” says Abbas.

Play stimulates the brain

“Physical activities, such as soccer, stimulate brain activity which has the ability to make one feel happier and more relaxed. This greatly benefits mental healthcare clients and enables them to engage socially, while sharpening mental skills such thinking, learning and use of good judgment,” says Abbas.

Fun dayEstablished in 2004, the mental health soccer day initially formed part of a mental health fun day, which was an annual event hosted by the Western Cape health department during Mental Wellbeing Month in October.

But because of the number of events and activities held on mental health fun day, it was decided that the soccer tournament would be held during September annually in the lead-up to Mental Wellbeing Month.

Each of the government psychiatric facilities is given the opportunity to host the mental health soccer day.

“Each year we see the camaraderie flourish amongst the clients of the various institutions; it is then that we realise the importance of this event. Congratulations once again to our very own Lentegeur hospital, on taking home the coveted trophy,” says Abbas.


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