The Professional Board for Psychology is commemorating Mental Health Month in October as part of Mental Health Awareness. This year’s theme of ‘Mental health for all’ is of particular relevance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though the numbers of positive cases are currently decreasing locally, the pandemic has left a lasting effect on the mental health of our society at large.
Mental health challenges are key results of a complex interplay between biological, psychological, social and environmental factors. South Africa is plagued with high rates of violent crimes, domestic abuse and poverty. The prevalence of gender-based violence impacts almost every aspect of life, with women and children being the most affected. Far too few South Africans seek treatment for their mental disorders.
The need for well trained and supported healthcare practitioners has never been greater. Against this backdrop the Professional Board for Psychology endeavours to guide the profession in ensuring that healthcare practitioners registered with Council practise ethically within their scope. The Board also regulates and advocates for quality psychological healthcare. During this Mental Health Awareness Month, the Board seeks to educate and create awareness on the importance of mental health as this can affect each and every one of us.
The green ribbon is the international symbol for mental health awareness. For Mental Health Month, we ask practitioners to wear a green ribbon and add one to your online profile to show you care and help start this important conversation. Remember to tag @HPCSA and use social the media handle #MentalHealth.
The Board will continue to strive for improved access to quality mental health services, the promotion of mental well-being amongst the community by continuously creating awareness and education around the stigma associated with mental health.