THE Ugu District now has a half-way house for people suffering with mental illnesses.
The Hibberdene Care Centre, opened by Felicity Govender 17 years ago as an old-age home, has new plans on the horizon.
“We’ve started with the construction of another building that will house male patients. The existing house will be for female patients only,” said Govender.
The 35-bed facility is expected to be complete by 2017.
“We are waiting for funding from the National Lottery,” she said.
The Port Shepstone Hospital is the nearest health facility where mentally ill patients are treated twice a week. However, they still need counselling and extra care to get them on the road to recovery.
“Their families and care-givers also need to be educated about
patients’ condition and how to administer medication. In many cases, there is no proper education and families disown their loved ones,” she said.
Each patient is to spend three to six months at the care centre before they are returned to their family.
“There will be a nurse, social worker and a counsellor at the new facility. Mentally ill people will not have to go to separate facilities to get treatment. It will all be provided at the care centre.”
October is Mental Health Awareness Month and Govender would like anybody affected by mental health to forward suggestions on how to create awareness about the issue.
“I would like testimonials from anyone, especially professional people, to speak about how they have managed to lead a normal life with a mental health condition,” said Govender.
Email your suggestions to catalin firstname.lastname@example.org