World Mental Health Day celebrated on Naval Hill

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Residents taking part in Bloem Care and Nurture Health's Walk for Crazy which was held on Naval Hill.

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day and this year Bloem Care together with Nurture Health, have decided to “Walk for Crazy” on Naval Hill.

Suzane Wille from Bloem Care told Bloemfontein Courant that the “Walk for Crazy” event was started last year when they decided to walk 1 500 km for patients who are suffering from mental health disorders. They organised this walk to break the stigma around mental health.

”We are telling people, look at us, we are the crazy ones, not the patients. We are trying to break the idea that anyone who needs psychological help is crazy. It is important to remember that this is a disorder that can affect anyone from any race, any age and any gender,” she said.

There were almost 100 people on Naval Hill and Wille explained they chose this venue because it would feel like they are doing the long walk to freedom like Nelson Mandela did.
Wille aded that Bloem Care has a child unit where children from as young as 13 years are admitted and the hospital always has a waiting list. ”This is heart-breaking because it means that so many young people are suffering and what makes it worse is that every 40 seconds someone in the world commits suicide.”

An occupational therapist from Nurture Health Bloemfontein, Elizta Jacobs, shared tips with those attending the event: It starts with a simple term, HELPS, where the letter H means to help others in any way that you can; E, which is for exercise (this has been proven to help with anxiety); L, which is for learning something new every day; P, which stands for play (we need to find something fun to do in our everyday lives), and S, which is for spiritual growth, which is important when dealing with the different disorders.

The Bloemfontein community walked 2 km to make sure that patients suffering from mental health disorders know that they are supporting them. – Sazly Hartzenberg
sazly@mahareng.co.za