As part of ongoing efforts to raise awareness about mental health, Gauteng Department of Health held an open day at Weskoppies Hospital, Tshwane on Wednesday, 04 October 2017.
The second instalment of the Department's build-up to Mental Healthcare Day, the activities included awareness exhibition stalls and a dialogue between the community and various stakeholders in mental health care.
Under the theme, "Together Promoting Mental Health Rights – Break the Stigma, break the silence", the day centered on mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma with specialists engaging various stakeholders on innovative procedures on more emphasized awareness.
Another significant part of the day was the ringing of the Bell of Hope, which signifies the call of optimism for improving mental health and achieving victory over mental illnesses. The ringing of the bell further serves as a powerful reminder that the invisible chains of misunderstanding and discrimination continue to bind people with mental illnesses.
Weskoppies Hospital is a specialized psychiatric hospital situated in the western side of Tshwane, serving the greater Tshwane, Metsweding, Mpumalanga Province, Tembisa hospital and forensic patients of North West Province as well as Mpumalanga. The hospital has 1067 approved beds with 715 operational beds. Some beds are temporarily closed due to infrastructure challenges.