Lessons from the past: Historical perspectives of mental health in the Eastern Cape

Kiran Sukeri, Orlando Alonso-Betancourt, Robin Emsley

Abstract


The development of mental health services in the Eastern Cape Province is inextricably entwined in South Africa’s colonial history and the racist policy of apartheid. Prior to the development of mental hospitals, mental health services were provided through a network of public and mission hospitals. This paper explores the development of early hospital and mental health services in the Eastern Cape from the time of the Cape Colony to the dissolution of apartheid in 1994, and highlights the influence of colonialism, race and legislation in the development of mental health services in this province. The objective is to provide a background of mental health services in order to identify the historical factors that have had an impact on the current shortcomings in the provision of public sector mental health services in the province. This information will assist in the future planning and development of a new service for the province without the stigma of the past. This research indicates that one lesson from the past should be the equitable distribution of resources for the provision of care for all that inhabit this province, as enshrined in South Africa’s constitution.

 

Keywords


Mental health history; Eastern Cape; Public sector mental health services

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v20i2.568

Submitted: 16 January 2014
Published: 30 July 2014




African Online Scientific Information Systems (Pty) Ltd t/a AOSIS
Reg No: 2002/002017/07
RSA Tel: 086 1000 381
International Tel: +27 21 975 2602
15 Oxford Street, Durbanville, Cape Town, 7550, South Africa
publishing(AT)aosis.co.za replace (AT) with @

All articles published in this journal are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license, unless otherwise stated.
Website design & content: ©2018 AOSIS (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved. No unauthorised duplication allowed.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get specific, domain-collection newsletters detailing the latest CPD courses, scholarly research and call-for-papers in your field.

Subscribe

South African Journal of Psychiatry    |    ISSN: 1608-9685 (PRINT)    |    ISSN: 2078-6786 (ONLINE)