Where to find your nearest mental health service provider? We asked provincial health departments

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  • The Covid-19 pandemic has increased the demand for mental healthcare in SA.
  • Hospitals are reporting an increase in mental health admissions.
  • However, only two of the nine provinces could provide Health24 with a list of mental healthcare public providers and facilities. 

As South Africa recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic, the damage to our collective mental health is becoming more evident every day.

In March this year, the Gauteng health department reported an increase in mental health admissions at the Helen Joseph Hospital, citing the Covid-19 pandemic as the main cause.

Gauteng Health told Health24 that it has less than 50% of the capacity needed to meet mental healthcare needs in the province. However, the department did provide a list of facilities and NGOs where people can get mental healthcare services in the province.

What about the other provinces?

Several local and international studies have observed an increase in the number of people experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety in South Africa since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. In light of these data and the response from the Gauteng health department, Health24 asked the other eight provinces for information on how the public can access mental healthcare services.

Health24 asked the provincial health departments for a list of facilities, clinics and NGOs that provide mental healthcare services. They were also asked to provide numbers of mental healthcare workers in each province. Limpopo, Northern Cape, Limpopo, Western Cape and Mpumalanga did, however, not respond.

While the Free State, KwaZulu Natal and Eastern Cape responded to our questions, the departments' communications teams could not get data from their mental health directorates despite numerous follow-up enquiries.  

The North West responded with the names of hospitals that provide mental health services, but did not provide a list of clinics or NGOs that provide such services. Below are the six facilities the North West department says provide mental healthcare services, and the type of services they provide.

  • Witrand Hospital: Acute physical medicine and rehabilitation, acute psychiatry, medium to long stay and chronic psychiatric patients
  • Bophelong Hospital: General psychiatry and forensic psychiatry
  • Taung District Hospital: Acute psychiatry
  • Job Shimankana Tabane (JST) Provincial Hospital: Acute psychiatry
  • Tshepong Hospital: 72-hour observation
  • Mafikeng Provincial Hospital: 72-hour observation     

READ | 'I don't know how I made it out alive.' A woman shares her Rahima Moosa Hospital experience

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