She Leads ADD HOPE to the Hopeless, mentally.

Is mental health an event to be celebrated once in a year and we forget about it, and see it again next year when the time to talk about it comes again? Or do we celebrate Mental Health in October as it is identified by the WHO to be the international Mental Health Awareness month, to make more awareness and look back what support has been given to those that are suffering from different mental illnesses? Mental health challenges have been there decades but COVID-19 came to expose it more because everyone across the world was going through tough time. After COVID-19 disappeared in thin air as it came, we went back to life as if everything is normal. Everyone was under pressure to catch up for the lost time and not paying attention to the state of their mental wellness. Young , Old, Rich, Poor, kids and adults are all suffering from stress, depression and anxiety.

Across the world we see people making awareness about Mental Health by hosting different events to make awareness and show compassion to those that find themselves in the dark because of the Mental health challenges they find themselves in. On the 13th of October 2023 an organisation in a community of Rosedale in Upington, Northern Cape by the name of SHE LEADS FOUNDATION hosted its first annual “ADD HOPE” Mental Health event to show solidarity and compassion to those that find themselves suffering from Mental Health challenges. The event was hosted at Piet Thole community hall in Rosedale. 

To show that people in our communities are going through a lot of difficulties mentally so, the hall was packed with community members from all walks of life. Invited guests made presentations, awareness/empowerment talks and the community members was also given a platform to share their experience and stories about Mental health.

Mr Richard Motsei a dietician by profession presented a beautiful presentation about the importance of taking care of your back, and how that relate to mental health. “Mental health comes with people experiencing back ache problems and equally so people suffering back ache problems can have mental health due to stress as they also don’t sleep enough having insomnia (inability to have good quality sleep).”

Guests representing Health department, Social development department, members of the Dawid Kruiper Municipal council and local community-based organisations was also present sharing their word of support with the community.

Ms. D. Eygelaar from Someone’s Treasure also spoke to the community and her speech was based on spirituality when it comes to mental health.

Amongst the guest was also the CEO of Careline Clinic Private Psychiatric Hospital, Ms Yvette Lucas, Ms. K Diergaardt: District coordinator of DOH, Ms. Minaar: Supervisor of DSD and Ms. Deidre Eygelaar: Someone’s Treasures Biblical Counselor

Sponsors of the event was Careline Clinic Private Psychiatric Hospital, Toyota Upington and Chery KIA Upington transported the elderly community members and those who lived far from the venue that needed transport, KODA Multipurpose, Dawid Kruiper Municipality, Du Pokoy Attorney Inc., Sarkaar Wholesale, Upington Supermarket, Department of education and local radio station Radio Riverside. Entertainment was served by Donavan & Friends and Bella.

Ms Sofia Quiso, the founder and the front runner of She Leads Foundation would like to thank everyone that made the event possible by showing support and made sure that those in need of the information could get it from the right sources and the community was also able to have a dialogue about Mental Health. She also thanks her entire team for every effort they made since the beginning of putting the event together.

Who or what is She Leads Foundation?

She Leads Foundation is a non-profit organisation based in Upington, Northern Cape. It is led by a young lady who is a teacher by profession, Ms Sofia Quiso. The vision and mission of She Leads Foundation is: to amor women with state of mind knowledge and opportunities to rise and lead their future, to help victims of GBV, Mental Health, Bullying, etc. and to provide awareness, curb stigmatization, provide education, create jobs and opportunities for women.

Written by Thabiso Macheoane/ Sofia Quiso.