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Mental Health and the role of Traditional Healers

6 July @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

The provision of treatment, care and rehabilitation services for people with Mental, Neurological and Substance use (MNS) disorders is a multisectoral responsibility. Traditional healers have a unique role to play, especially in resource-limited settings. It is estimated that there are about 200 000 traditional healers as compared to 975 registered psychiatrists – who mostly practise in urban areas and the private sector. Traditional health practitioners and those linked to faith-based organisations play a significant role in providing services for people with MNS disorders. These are often an entry point into systems of care. These providers, therefore, could play a significant role in identifying people with such disorders, and in some cases, have worked co-operatively with health services in providing for the mental health and spiritual needs of individuals. There is a need to understand the role of traditional health practitioners in mental health care.

This webinar seeks to understand the role, knowledge, attitude, and practice of traditional healers in mental health care with the aim to encourage their participation in terms of the treatment, care and rehabilitation of people with MNS disorders.


Dr Palesa Sekhejane

Director: Strategic Partnerships Unit, Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)


Professor Tholene Sodi
Department of Psychology, University of Limpopo

Dr Lerato Dikobe-Kalane
Psychiatrist and member of the South African Society of Psychiatrists (SASOP)

Dr Tozama Qwebani-Ogunleye
Senior Lecturer-Project Manager, Faculty of Applied and Computer Sciences, Vaal University of Technology

Mr Lehlohonolo Mactavish Lephoto
 Chairperson of the Sedibeng Traditional Health Practitioner Forum