The many tolls of COVID-19 will be counted and measured. It’s likely though, that we’ll never get a clear picture of the pandemic’s impact on our mental health. Yes, the suicides are being tallied up, but mental health issues manifest in many more ways. Mental healthcare is the poor, neglected orphan of healthcare services. While there’s far more focus than there has ever been on the importance of mental health; the majority of people with mental health concerns do not access the care they need to heal and transform their lives. This is particularly the case in South Africa, where the need is staggeringly high and exacerbated by widespread chronic poverty, crime, unemployment, violence, disease, discrimination and domestic abuse. Now, COVID-19 has ushered in a sustained crisis of fear and anxiety, trauma and grief.
According to Dr Jaclyn Lotter, the Deputy Dean at SACAP (the South African College of Applied