Gauteng sets aside R1.4B for mental health

The Gauteng Health Department has allocated R1.4bn to psychiatric hospitals in the province.

The biggest slice of the money will go towards increasing bed capacity in the province's specialised hospitals, as well as the hiring of more health professionals in the field.

Health MEC Bandile Masuku says mental illness has fast become an epidemic and the department is under pressure to respond.

Mental health is fast becoming an epidemic, so the health system is under pressure in terms of responding - in terms of its infrastructure and approach.

Bandile Masuku, Gauteng Health MEC

At the moment we are having almost 10 patients every night who need acute treatment and acute observation, so it is going to go towards infrastructure but part of it is also going towards the employment of more psychologists, psychiatrists and even occupational therapists.

Bandile Masuku, Gauteng Health ME

The other part will be for our NGO partners which we are going to utilise in terms of helping us to treat those who do not really need hospitalisation and are going to increase the level of awareness.

Bandile Masuku, Gauteng Health MEC

Masuku says a mental health advisory team has also been established.

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