Families suffer effect of new mental health policy

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16 August 2016 -The impact of the Gauteng government's new mental health strategy, has been disastrous for some families. It means some mentally ill patients, who were housed in specialised centres, are now in the care of their families.

16 August 2016 -The impact of the Gauteng government's new mental health strategy, has been disastrous for some families. It means some mentally ill patients, who were housed in specialised centres, are now in the care of their families.

WEB_PHOTO_CP_GAUHEALTH_16_PM

16 August 2016 -The impact of the Gauteng government's new mental health strategy, has been disastrous for some families. It means some mentally ill patients, who were housed in specialised centres, are now in the care of their families.

16 August 2016 -The impact of the Gauteng government's new mental health strategy, has been disastrous for some families. It means some mentally ill patients, who were housed in specialised centres, are now in the care of their families.

JOHANNESBURG - The impact of the Gauteng government&39;s new mental health strategy has been disastrous for some families.

It means some mentally ill patients, who were housed in specialised centres,  are now in the care of their families.

Many of them say they simply can’t cope.

Earlier this year the Gauteng Health Department terminated its contract with a private service provider that ran mental health care centres.

READ: Mental illnesses neglected by government

It’s part of a plan to move people from what are seen as old-fashioned asylum-like institutions, into community-based care.

But some say it was a cost cutting measure, that simply isn’t working.

"The entire way in which government discharged the patients is infringing on their heath right…and right to security for their families and themselves,” said the president of the SA Society of Psychiatrists, Dr Mvuyiso Talatala.

Up until a few months ago, Life Esidimeni had been contracted to provide chronic mental healthcare to almost 2,000 patients, playing a vital role for people discharged from psychiatric institutions.

READ: Health department reassures families of mentally ill patients

The Gauteng Health Department says it is monitoring the situation.

* Checkpoint investigated this concern - watch the video report in the gallery above.