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A study conducted by Sapien Labs has shown that in South Africa, our mental health status is ranked as one of the lowest in the world. Therefore, Mediclinic Newcastle’s Kintsugi Wellness Centre speaks with Newcastillians on this often ignored, yet highly impactful subject, and the solutions therein.
Due to the severity of the situation, October has been declared Mental Health Awareness Month, whereby the healthcare and government sectors embark on a mission to break the negative connotations surrounding mental health while educating people on the subject.
Moreover, issues such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse and job stress are common across Newcastle and surroundings. These treatable conditions plague numerous individuals, families and co-workers., If left untreated, it will directly impact careers and jobs through increased absenteeism and reduced productivity. This is according to Professional Nurse Sharon Snyers, Kintsugi Wellness Centre’s Unit Manager—who further cleared the mysticism surrounding the Centre.
“Kintsugi is not a dark gloomy place. Rather, it is a haven where patients are voluntarily admitted by a specialist psychiatrist. Our patients are referred to us by their psychiatrists if they feel there is a need to be admitted. But it is entirely voluntary,” she began.
When admitting themselves into Mediclinic Newcastle’s Kintsugi Wellness Centre, patients might feel a degree of uncertainty or apprehension. However, Sr Snyers emphasised that Kintsugi is a place of healing where the staff will be with you every step of the way, ensuring the process is as comfortable and productive as possible.
She further elaborated, saying that once a patient’s psychiatrist does the necessary assessment, thereby qualifying them for their stay, the centre’s staff completes the respective admission process.
In addition, an Occupational Therapist at Kintsugi, Farzanah Kalla added that nurses also assisted in checking the patient’s vitals.
“Once the patients have been assessed, they are referred by their treating psychiatrists to either occupational therapy, psychology, social work services or if they require, individual psychotherapy sessions. Jointly, they are referred to group therapy during which a multi-disciplinary approach will then assist and see if the patient will cope in the group or not, as referred by the doctor.”
Furthermore, the Centre focuses on depression, mood and personality disorders, anxiety, post-traumatic stress (PTSD), and based on the assessments when being admitted, a therapy treatment plan is created.
After being admitted to the centre and starting their first day, Kalla pointed out that nurses often orientated the patients on what are expected of them.
Additionally, Sr Snyers explained that to put their patients at ease and avoid bombarding them with too much information, the facility’s staff explain the necessary house rules, show patients around, while showcasing that privacy is of the utmost importance. This is all done to familiarise patients with their surroundings and put them at ease.
“After the first few days at Kintsugi Wellness Centre, you can see an improvement in the patients, as they become more comfortable. There is a stigma around mental health, where people think there is this banner which hangs over them. But this is not the case. Mental health is just as important as physical health and the Kintsugi Wellness Centre offers patients rest and the necessary tools to deal with their problems,” she explained.
When it comes to treatment and services available at the Mediclinic Newcastle facility, Sr Snyers stated that psychiatrists visit patients on a daily basis. There are also four structured group therapy sessions which are run by local psychologists, occupational therapists and a social worker.
As an occupational therapist, Kalla explained that the services provided at the centre includes group therapy programmes, in which coping skills are offered. These included:
- Stress management
- Anger management
- Relaxation therapy
- Assertiveness training
The Kintsugi Wellness Centre’s staff also hold regular climate meetings, where patients and the nursing staff interact with each other, allowing patients to discuss an assortment of topics with them.
In terms of comforts and unique offerings, Sr Snyers added, “We also have relaxation therapy, which is not as intense as the group therapy. Then there are arts and crafts, books and our beautiful garden. The Kintsugi Wellness also has a gymnasium on the premises, exercise mats and TVs in patients’ rooms.”
With a holistic approach, the average stay at the Kintsugi Wellness Centre is seven to 10 days, with a maximum stay of 21 days, all depending on the needs of the patient.
Once leaving the facility, to keep you progressing, “We have follow-up sessions with a multi-disciplinary team, which includes follow-up meetings with a psychologist, psychiatrist and occupational therapist,” confirmed Sr Snyers.
She further stated that in light of Mental Health Awareness Month, the Kintsugi Wellness Centre felt it was imperative that Newcastillians remember to give their mental health the necessary attention.
“It is so important to remember that while it is okay not to be okay, we need to lead mentally healthy lives. We are always here to help people learn the necessary tools that can help them cope,” concluded Sr Snyers.
Whereby Kalla added, “The community should keep in mind that prevention is better than cure, and by actually coming to a centre like Kintsugi Wellness Centre, they could learn coping skills, as well as get the emotional help they need in order to cope independently in their communities.”
If you or a loved one require help, Kintsugi Wellness Centre can be contacted at 034 317 0043. Alternatively, you can contact one of the following Newcastle psychiatrists:
- Dr Fathima Seedat on 034 317 3388
- Dr L Mnikathi on 067 044 6413.
Help is only one phone call away, be sure to start the healing process today at Mediclinic Newcastle’s Kintsugi Well Centre and begin the next chapter of your life. In addition, Mediclinic Newcastle is celebrating Mental Health with the return of its annual Emoji Fun run on Saturday, 22 October 2022. Please contact the Kintsugi Wellness Centre on 034 317 0048 for more information.
This post and content is sponsored and provided by Mediclinic Southern Africa – Newcastle.