Mental illness from the perspective of black rural teachers in the Limpopo Province of South Africa

[Speaker] De Villiers, Derika:1
[Co-author] Boshomane, Mokgadi:1, Ally, Yaseen:2
1:SACAP (South Africa(Republic of South Africa)), 2:Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (South Africa(Republic of South Africa))

In many African cultures, the concept of mental illness finds expression through traditional treatments and understandings, rather than through the western scientific paradigm. In lieu of the diversity that is inherent to the South African landscape, mental health practitioners must understand how diversity relates to mental illness within African communities. The study explored the perception of mental illness amongst black rural teachers in the Limpopo Province. Teachers often serve as the primary source for referrals, this understanding was considered important as it influences treatment projectory of patients. A qualitative study was conducted, using semi-structured interviews. The data was analyzed thematically. Results of the study indicated that teachers in the Limpopo Province of South Africa have limited knowledge. Results indicated that teachers were aware of different methods used to treat mental illness. Future research needs to look into strategies that can be used to empower teachers on mental illness.
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