(a) The Mental Health Care Act 2002, (Act No 17 of 2002) (the Act) prescribes adherence to human rights principles in rendering mental health services which includes humane and fit for purpose facilities. Furthermore, the Act prescribes integration of mental health into the general health services environment. The Department has made strides in improving mental health facilities to comply with the human rights prescripts in the Mental Health Care Act, 2002. Among these are the following:
- Mental Health Infrastructure norms were developed and gazetted in 2014. These guidelines ensure that new mental health infrastructure construction and revitalisation of the current infrastructure complies to the Mental Health Care Act, 2002 and the other health and human rights prescripts.
- Mental health units have been attached to forty-two (42) general hospitals to increase access to mental health services and strengthen integration of mental health into the general health services environment. We continue with this expansion of service within the annual available budget.
(b) The Department is implementing different approaches to educate the public in urban, rural and townships communities on communicable diseases, risk factors to non-communicable diseases including mental health, mother and child health and safety from injuries. This is done in partnership with other government departments, professional bodies, schools, provincial communicators and NGO’s. The department has developed targeted message for priority conditions and these are communicated through role playing, poetry community dialogues and platforms such as radio and social media.
In PHC facilities, clients are educated on different topics on a daily basis. Fact sheets are developed and translated into different languages, these are accessible in health facilities and distributed during campaigns. Different Apps such as Mom Connect and B-Wise are used to send messages to different target groups. The B-Wise App aims to engage youth on health and the content includes mental health issues. Health experts respond to young people through this App.