By Nomathamsanqa Simelane, Ms Royan and Miss Maikoo
The 4th year Psychiatry Student nurses (Group 1/2012) from Greys Nursing Campus in KZN-Pietermaritzburg took mental health to the community of a semi-rural area of eSigodini in Pietermaritzburg in honour of the Mental Health Awareness Month (JULY).
This area was identified to have cases of mentally ill-persons and drug abusers especially ‘woonga’. Students went to eSigodini Primary School where they gave health talks on dangers of drug abuse & mental health among hundreds of school children. They offered music items related to mental health and performed a stage play on drug abuse which left pupils and teachers laughing their lungs out.
Before going to the school, students were at the local clinic where they addressed the community on the same issues of drug abuse and mental health. Moreover, they brought tea and sandwiches and served clients at the clinic in commemorated Mandela day’s 67 minutes.
Educating school children was part of preventive measures on drug abuse and mental illness. This was again an attempt to root out the habit before it starts because when you wait until they go to high schools, the habit would have gone chronic and difficult to manage.
The following people are thanked for accommodating the students and for the success of this project: eSigodini Clinic Operational Manager Sister P. Sithole and her staff; the Principal of eSigodini Primary School Mr. Msomi, his HODs and Staff; Group 1/2012 Psych-students for their efforts, their lecturers and every single person who contributed towards making the day a success.
Mrs Simelane is Group-mother and lecturer- psychiatry & sociology; Ms Royan is HOD- psychiatry & sociology); and Miss Maikoo is Lecturer of psychiatry sociology