Premier Winde and Provincial MEC of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez, used the visit to engage with social workers on their experiences and challenges faced during the pandemic. They particularly focused on the field of rendering psycho-social support.
The social workers were also thanked for their huge contribution to supporting mental wellbeing throughout the pandemic. According to the NDIS-CRAM Wave 5 report, 52% of respondents have experienced depressive symptoms since the start of the pandemic. And 40% of adults living with children in food-insecure households also displayed signs of depression in April 2021.
Premier Winde said: “It was very encouraging to hear back from our social workers who have been at the coalface throughout the pandemic helping to support the mental wellbeing of residents during their darkest hours. We know that the pandemic has taken a significant toll on the mental wellbeing and meeting with social workers today was important not only in hearing from those who provide services on the ground but also to acknowledge and thank our social workers for their important contributions.”
MEC Fernandez said: “We acknowledge and appreciate that our social work professionals continue to be a pillar of hope to the many vulnerable individuals, families and communities who would be without help and assistance otherwise. We are grateful for your ongoing commitment and dedication to restoring the well-being and dignity of the residents of the Western Cape.”
The Provincial Recovery Plan
The Western Cape Government’s Provincial Recovery Plan is formulated in response to the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Plan aims to ensure that the wellbeing, safety and job opportunities of all residents are upheld.
Under the leadership of MEC Fernandez, the Provincial Department of Social Development has established a departmental task team and action plan. This includes hosting awareness and advocacy campaigns on mental health and wellbeing in communities.
Psycho-social support given to over 70 000 people in Wynberg and surrounding areas
From April 2020 to January 2021, there have been 71 727 people who accessed the Department’s psycho-social support services.
The Metro South regional office, also based in Wynberg. works closely with SAPS stations. These stations include Lansdowne SAPS, Mowbray SAPS, and Wynberg SAPS. And to date, they have provided psycho-social support to:
- 86 people through debriefing services;
- 344 people through telephonic counselling and one-to-ones;
- 219 people through trauma counselling;
- 121 people who were GBV victims; and
- 196 people who were victims of crime and violence.