Phaahla: We need to improve community-based care for mental health services

Health Minister Joe Phaahla led a national dialogue on Monday on the issue as the world marks mental health month.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla at a briefing on 30 September 2021. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN – Community-based care has been identified as key to improving mental health services.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla led a national dialogue on Monday on the issue as the world marks Mental Health Month.

The Federation for Mental Health's Bharti Patel said studies showed less than one in 10 people living with mental health conditions received the care they needed.

She said some of the issues that needed to be looked at revolve around policy, financing and human resources allocation.

“When it comes to policy, we need urgent review of the mental policy framework and the Mental Healthcare Act. And this needs to be something complemented with a dedicated budget allocation towards community-based mental healthcare.”

Patel added that the Department of Social Development must incorporate mental health care in all poverty and gender-based violence programmes.

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