MPUMALANGA – “I remember the last time my mother disappeared. People from a nearby community found her walking alone in the middle of the night naked. She couldn’t remember her own name and because she was naked people thought she was a witch. They wanted to burn her alive.”
Community-based mental health organisations are cash-strapped, and face ongoing threats from government that their subsidies will be cut. But the Esidimeni tragedy shows that more money should be invested in these facilities to protect patients from being discharged into hostile communities before they are ready.
Patients at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH) psychiatric ward cannot bath or shower because the water leaks into other wards.