King: ‘I love people with mental illness’

Psychiatric patients need love and support.
Psychiatric patients need love and support.

The Vha-Venda king Toni Mphephu Ramabulana has begged his people not to discriminate against mentally ill patients, saying they need to be loved and appreciated.

The King was speaking at Hayani Psychiatric Hospital, outside Thohoyandou during his birthday month celebrations.

Continued neglect of mentally ill

“We must not discriminate against individuals just because of their mental state, as they did not choose to be born that way. We must accommodate them and make them feel important and loved. That is why I decided to celebrate my birthday with them, to show them that as their king, I love and appreciate them,” he said.

“I have been informed that some of the parents who just send their mentally disturbed children here (Hayani Psychiatric Hospital) and never bother to visit them or monitor their progress. I am pleading with such parents to refrain from neglecting their children just because they suffer from mental illness,” said King Ramabulana.

Hayani is a psychiatric hospital operated by the Limpopo Department of Health. It provides medical service to thousands of patients in the Vhembe District suffering from various mental illnesses. King Ramabulana also called on all his chiefs to make sure that they look after mentally ill persons in their villages and protect them.

Parents don't bother to visit

Limpopo Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba said the department was saddened by the continued neglect of mentally ill people.

“It pains us to see mentally ill people neglected, while their grant money is being spent by people who claim to look after them. Some patients have been here for months, but their parents and guardians do not bother to visit,” said Ramathuba.

Earlier this year Health-e reported about a young mentally ill man from Mpheni village, near Elim Hospital, who had been denied medical care and educational rights by his mother. – Health-e News.

Image supplied by iStock

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