YOUTH ZONES: MENTAL HEALTH INFORMAL REPORT 2017

Author: 
Dr Ruth Verity Passchier

YOUTH ZONES: MENTAL HEALTH INFORMAL REPORT 2017


BACKGROUND


Mental Health in South Africa


According to the World Health Organization, neuropsychiatric conditions contribute 12% of the worldwide burden of disease and is projected to reach 15 % by 2020. The pervasive neglect of mental health research and care in lower- and middle-income countries has led to the movement of Global Mental Health and a call to action for a decrease of inequality in mental health provision (Patel, 2012).


South Africa has a high prevalence of psychiatric disorders, with an estimated 30% of the population having a lifetime history of at least one of the mental health disorder (Stein et al., 2008). There is a particularly high prevalence (13.3%) and early age of onset (21 years) of substance use disorders in South Africa in comparison to other countries (Stein et al., 2008). Cases of psychotic disorder could be prevented by discouraging substance use (particularly cannabis and nyope) among vulnerable youths (Arseneault et al., 2004). Local data suggest that stigma and misinformation regarding mental illness is wide spread (Hugo et al., 2003) in South Africa. False beliefs and misunderstanding regarding metal illness influence treatment modality and help-seeking behaviour (Hugo et al., 2003). 


AIM
To gain understanding of the local perceptions of mental health, common mental disorders within the communities, and treatment options.


METHOD
Three group discussion were held in local communities in South Africa with Doc Mabila and Ruth Verity Passchier. Participants included community leaders, youth, and adults interested in discussing mental health.