Some of society’s most helpless people are admitted to the Free State Psychiatric Complex for care. But with the challenges the facility has, it’s unable to do that to the best of its ability.
The alleged Dros rapist’s defence lawyer is trying to blame his client’s behaviour on a bipolar diagnosis. But while many people associate mental illness with violence those who are mentally ill are much more likely to be victims of violent crime than perpetrators, reports HEALTH-E’s Amy Green.
The South African Federation for Mental Health (SAFMH) has condemned local media houses for creating the impression that people living with mental illness are violent and criminally dangerous in the wake of rape-accused Nicholas Ninow’s defence citing his psychological state in court.
Exactly a year after the start of the arbitration hearings that sought justice for the families of the dead Life Esidimeni patients, the esteemed The Lancet medical journal has released a global mental health report condemning the local disaster as “tragic”.
The decision of Former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke in the Life Esidimeni arbitration is an important landmark following more than two years of resistance, negotiation, confrontation, heart break and horror, writes Section27 attorney.
Following a litany of lies, “murderous” decisions, agonising deaths and torturous transfers, an amount of R1.2-million will now be paid to each of the families affected by the Gauteng Department of Health’s decision to move mentally ill patients out of Life Esidimeni facilities.
Families of the 140-plus psychiatric patients who died after being moved from Life Esidimeni facilities to irregularly registered non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have suffered so much that some themselves are now dying.
Here, Health-e has only profiled 10 former Life Esidimeni (LE) patients, and the circumstances around their deaths, but it provides a glimpse into the dignity denied to both mental health care users and their families before, during and after the fatal move.
No action has been taken against 11 health officials implicated in Esidimeni crisis, former Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu who made the decision that led to 141 deaths remains illusive and the “bankrupt” Gauteng Health Department is currently unable to fund a compensation ruling.
A family member of a patient who died in the Life Esidimeni tragedy has suggested amnesty be given to implicated non-governmental organisation (NGO) officials in the interests of “getting answers”.