27 October 2016
In December 2015, Statistics South Africa warned that the Northern Cape has the highest prevalence rates of suicide in the country. One would imagine that this would prompt some reaction from the provincial government. Instead, in Mental Health Awareness month, we are faced with a daily deluge of stories about how the mentally ill are mistreated in our province.
Whenever the topic of the mental health hospital comes up, the goalposts are shifted and yet another deadline for delivery is given. This lack of a dedicated facility to care for our people places an unfair burden on the poorest of the poor, who have no access to medical aids or private care.
Research indicates that one in five South Africans will suffer from some sort of mental illness in their life, which shows the need to include mental health care in the services provided to the public. The knock-on effects of the lack of a dedicated care facility are devastating.
A caring government must ensure that accessible, affordable and high quality health care is available to every person.
Chairperson of the Democratic Alliance Women Network in the Northern Cape
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