UKZN Nursing students took part in an information sharing session with well-known traditional healer Mr Maphelo Bongani Gumede of uMzimkhulu in KwaZulu-Natal on current mental health issues affecting South Africans.
The event explored the views of Traditional Health Practitioners (THPs) in the area of mental health practice. ‘We wanted to get an understanding from Mr Gumede about how THPs identify, diagnose and manage symptoms of mental illness,’ said Mental Health lecturer, Dr Winnie Ngcongo-Cele.
Gumede treats and deals with a variety of illnesses, specialising in Mental Health and strokes.
UKZN students and lecturers in Mental Health Ngcongo-Cele and Dr Ann Jarvis as well as Dr Mlungisi Ngcobo of the Discipline of Traditional Medicine were involved in the session with Gumede.
Ngcongo-Cele spoke about what causes mental illness, who it can affect and the most common disorders, while Ngcobo shared some of his experiences as a Medical Laboratory scientist.
Jarvis commended Gumede for the work he does treating and assisting people suffering from mental health challenges, emphasising the importance of sharing such experiences with students in preparation for their entry into the world of work.
Students were keen to interact with Gumede again to discuss their own journeys and personal experiences.
Words: Nombuso Dlamini