Deputy Director of SAFMH, Leon de Beer, recently hosted a group of students from the University of Johannesburg and Ulster [UK] at the SAFMH offices in JHB, who were all part of an international leadership development programme.
The students had the opportunity to engage with leaders in various sectors in South Africa who work in fields related to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and the organisers of the programme [Common Purpose] invited SAFMH to be a part of the initiative under the banner of SDG 3 [Good Health and Well-being].
During the session, Leon provided the students with an overview of the work of SAFMH and the mental health sector in South Africa, specifically covering some of the challenges faced by the sector, such as poor policy implementation and resourcing. The dynamic group of students engaged with the content enthusiastically and were able to interrogate their interests in mental health from many different angles, asking a wide range of questions.
Following the session, some of the students provided feedback to the organisers, including the below, indicating that the session had been a meaningful engagement for them:
“The immersion with Mr de Beer on Mental health stood out for me – the speaker was so passionate and invested in making a difference. Was extremely refreshing.”
“I appreciated how open and honest Leon de Beer was.”
It was great to be able to engage with such a diverse group of highly enthusiastic students on mental health. I could see that mental health was something they were all very passionate about and that, regardless of their areas if study, the importance of mental health would be something they would continue to carry with them”. – Leon