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'Pain of losing a loved one never goes away'

The world observed International Mental Health Day on Wednesday and some say this reminded them of the tragic event.

FILE: Christine Nxumalo testifies at the Life Esidimeni arbitration process on 23 October 2017 on the death of her sister at an NGO. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Some families of patients who died in the Esidimeni tragedy say that counselling has played a vital role in dealing with the deaths of their loved ones.

The world observed International Mental Health Day on Wednesday and some say this reminded them of the tragic event.

WATCH: Giving up hope: My suicide confession

At least 144 psychiatric patients died after the Gauteng Health Department terminated its contract with the Life Esidimeni group and moved them to ill-equipped NGOs.

Christine Nxumalo’s sister was one of the patients who died after they were moved to the facilities.

Nxumalo says despite financial compensation, the pain of losing a loved one in such a tragic manner will never go away.

“It’s devastating and takes a lot more to get over stuff like that, even though you appear to be okay.”

The Gauteng government has paid out over R1 million to the claimants of the Life Esidimeni arbitration.

Families say government should make strides in educating the public about mental health.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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