Original Research

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

Kiran Sukeri, Orlando Alonso-Betancourt, Robin Emsley
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 20, No 2 | a568 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v20i2.568 | © 2014 Kiran Sukeri, Orlando Alonso-Betancourt, Robin Emsley | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 January 2014 | Published: 30 July 2014

About the author(s)

Kiran Sukeri, Department of Psychiatry, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, South Africa, South Africa
Orlando Alonso-Betancourt, Department of Psychiatry, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, South Africa, South Africa
Robin Emsley, Department of Psychiatry, University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa, South Africa

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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

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Crossref Citations

1. Collaborative mental health care in the bureaucratic field of post-apartheid South Africa
André Janse van Rensburg, Edwin Wouters, Pieter Fourie, Dingie van Rensburg, Piet Bracke
Health Sociology Review  vol: 27  issue: 3  first page: 279  year: 2018  
doi: 10.1080/14461242.2018.1479651