Media Release: Mental Wellness in the spotlight in Kannaland
For Immediate Release
7 November 2023
Life can be really tough at times, and we need to know how we can improve our own mental wellness. In light of Mental Health Awareness Month, mental wellness outreaches were done in Kannaland aimed to start the conversation around mental wellness.
Several outreaches took place in October in Zoar, Calitzdorp and Ladismith.
Dennis Jacobs from Zoar is outspoken when it comes to especially men and mental wellness. ‘It doesn’t make you less of a man to talk about your problems,’ he said.
Younger men also joined the conversation.
Bboy Da Vinci, a local entertainer from Oudtshoorn, said that dancing gives him purpose. ‘Dancing gives me purpose to life every day; it is my way of expressing myself. When I dance, nothing else matters,’ he said.
Speaking on the importance of these mental wellness outreaches, psychologist Estelle Crause said: ‘It’s important for people to be made aware of how they can take care of their mental wellness and where they can go if they feel they might need help. This is why we do these outreaches, it’s to bring awareness to our communities.’ A psychiatrists, registered councillor and mental health nurse do rotational visits to clinics in the subdistrict.
Mental wellness is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through to adulthood. Estelle spoke on what you can do to help improve your mental wellness. ‘Nutrition plays an important role in maintaining mental wellness and preventing the onset of mental health disorders. I always tell my patients to eat foods that are high in L-tyrosine such as chicken, fish, cheese, bananas and milk.
‘It’s really important to spend some time outdoors too. Going for walks in nature or doing some exercises or just soaking up some sunrays for a few minutes a day is beneficial to our bodies. A sense of mental well-being also supports our immune system, thus our physical health and vice versa,’ Estelle said.
For those who struggle with getting enough sleep, she said: ‘It’s important to be mindful of your evening routine if you want to get a good night’s rest. Limit coffee, alcohol and sugar at night as well as screen time. Have an evening routine that calms your nervous system gradually and try to avoid strenuous exercise before bed because this boosts your body temperature and all those feel-good chemicals which might keep you awake a little longer.’
We also need to make time for ourselves and do things that we enjoy. Jadon Moses from Ladismith knows that we need to do things that makes us happy. ‘Making music helps me,’ said the young musician.
Every individual can take meaningful steps toward better mental wellness. If you feel you might be suffering from a mental health condition, you can go to your local clinic or make contact with the organizations below.
Where to get support:
- If you are a learner experiencing abuse, and/or need advice or counselling support, you can call the Western Cape Education Department’s Safe Schools toll free hotline on 0800 45 46 47.
- Need help or advice about relationships, sex, pregnancy, or your body? Send a ‘please call me’ to 083 323 1023 to speak to a trained health expert, call 0800 121 900 or visit bwisehealth.com
- Feel alone, overwhelmed, or anxious? Get free help from the Cipla Mental Health Helpline. Speak to a trained counsellor. Send a SMS to 31393 (24/7), call 0800 456 789 (24/7) or WhatsApp 076 882 2775 (8AM – 5PM)
- Did you know you can call the free 24/7 emergency suicide helpline for help? Speak to a trained counsellor that you can trust. Call 0800 567 567 any time of the day or night.
Featured image caption: From left: Claudel-Draai – Health Promotion, Misida – Registered Councillor and Estelle Krause – Psychiatrist
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health
Tel: 044 813 1831