SAFMH National Executive Director, Bharti Patel, recently shared her views on the latest edition of the South African Child Gauge with Spotlight.
In the article focused on child and adolescent mental health care services, Patel said that the Child Gauge can help advocate for evidence-based strategies regarding improved mental health for children in South Africa.
We need every government department to think about how their policies and programmes are youth-centered and youth-friendly. We need departments to meaningfully include young people in their decision-making processes, to take ownership of what is within their jurisdiction regarding service delivery for young people, and to stringently monitor mechanisms and accountability structures for when departments fail to achieve what they have been mandated to achieve regarding youth wellbeing.
The South African Child Gauge 2022 on Child and Adolescent Mental Health gives policymakers a comprehensive review of the research regarding children and mental health in our country. Such a report also helps us advocate for evidence-based strategies regarding improved mental health for children in South Africa. SAFMH applauds the new edition of the Gauge and calls on our government to take heed of the excellent and practical examples shared in the report on how to reduce the risk factors for poor mental health across a child’s life course. These examples include strengthening health care systems in South Africa, to reducing violence within communities and promoting strong attachments between caregivers and individuals.
Read the full Spotlight article here.