The Gauteng Health Department says the Helen Joseph Hospital in Johannesburg has recorded an increase in the number of mentally-ill patients going to the facility.
Health MEC, Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi says the increase can be attributed to poor economic circumstances that have been aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic and large-scale abuse of illegal substances abuse.
The Department’s spokesperson, Kwara Kekana says there are also some families that are unwilling to take back members with mental health issues.
“The temporary closure of certain sections at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital has also contributed to the increase in patients. Various measures are being introduced at the Helen Joseph Hospital to ensure the provision of care for the growing number of mental health patients.”
“These include the increase of bed capacity as well as building temporary structures to house more patients. The MEC pleaded with families who refused to take back their loved ones with mental health illnesses to work with government and welcome their family members with care,” says Kekana.
Video: World Mental Health Day