Survivors of sexual assault and gender-based violence (GBV) often require mental healthcare services to deal with the psychological trauma, but these services are often not available in already overburdened shelters and safe houses where resources are limited. Sue Segar visited some shelters and spoke to experts about this unmet need for women and children.
Due to policy shifts and the increased availability of antipsychotic medication, mental healthcare has become decentralised, with most patients being treated in primary and district health facilities nearest to where they live. Only about ten percent of mental health patients are referred to psychiatric hospitals like Valkenberg in Cape Town. As part of Spotlight’s series on hospitals’ histories, Biénne Huisman visited Valkenberg Hospital and found in its fascinating past insight into how our approach to mental healthcare has changed over the years.