Convention to explore mental health issues

The Family Counselling Centre team, back, from left, are Keren Shaulov, Andrea Nettel, Kirstty Slessinger, Lee-Ann Dawson and Miranda Brown. Front: Precious Bhkira, Leigh Garlick and Christiane Viljoen.

There is a serious mental health crisis in the valley, according to Andrea Nettel, the founder of the Family Counselling Centre.

The non-profit organisation will hold a two-day Community & Mental Health Convention, at the King of Kings Baptist Centre, in Sun Valley, on Friday and Saturday August 19 and 20, to address mental health issues, including “post-pandemic mental fitness” .

“The aim is to unlock the disconnect and gaps between the private and public organisations, professionals and government institutions,” said Ms Nettel.

“On one side, many of the services are duplicated while in others they are missing. The convention is about starting conversations and asking how organisations can help, especially in Red Hill, Masiphumelele and Ocean View where the need is great.

“We are also hoping the event will connect communities, bring together like-minded individuals and organisations passionate about community activities, upliftment and mental health, to create a network for all to benefit from and build a better Far South.”

Local organisations and businesses will have a chance to promote their services on the Friday while the Saturday’s events will include presentations by doctors, past principals, organisation heads, and others on community empowerment, upliftment and mental health. The day will include a discussion on “Post-pandemic mental fitness – what now?”

The sessions will also include two interactive panel discussions and a documentary, Disconnected, telling the unscripted stories of people affected by suicide.

“The intention of this documentary is to lift the stigma of suicide, for those who have lost loved ones and those who are suffering with depression/anxiety,” said Ms Nettel.

Founded in 2015, the centre provides mental health and other complementary services based on a Christian ethos.

Entry is by donation. Visit, email, call 021 023 0016 or WhatsApp 072 375 6089 for more information.