The mental health crisis is a major issue facing the world today. According to the Worldwide Mental Health Foundation mental illness affects 950 million people globally, and is the leading cause of disability across all age groups. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds. People with severe mental health conditions die prematurely – as much as two decades early. The Covid pandemic escalated the issue detrimentally impacting on the wellbeing and mental health of many of us.
There is increasing acknowledgement of the importance of mental health, as illustrated by its inclusion into the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
At Dreamcatcher we have been engaging communities on mental health and wellbeing for over 20 years. Working in vulnerable communities, the state of mental health with pressure to survive daily, is particularly prevalent. Children are at the receiving end of parents struggling with mental health, and therefore at risk, with a legacy of developing their own conditions. Youth born years after Nelson Mandela was released, see little change where they live. We provide specific support to overcome depression and falling into anti-social behaviour, to promote and facilitate wellbeing, happiness and hope for better tomorrows.
Our work on mental health and stress management has been led by the amazing volunteer and stress management expert, Carole Speirs, CEO and Founder of the Carole Spiers Group, UK. Over this time Carole has conducted stress management workshops and mentored countless individuals throughout South Africa.
Observing the impact of mental health on all age groups, we work inclusively across all age profiles. We support and mentor our social enterprises and the wider community to address these important issues.
We are ever thankful to Carole invaluable and impactful work and that of our volunteers who choose to include youth mentoring for mental health into their in-service programmes. Dreamcatcher plans is to scale this part of our work up.
Carole shares her experiences below:
“We’ve had the privilege of working alongside Dreamcatcher for more than two decades, and our support for their endeavours and mission is unwavering. Our journey has taken us to South Africa, where we’ve immersed ourselves in the vibrant townships and had the opportunity to meet remarkable individuals.
Among them are Muriel and Natalie, shining examples of resilience and determination. They not only provide for their own families but also ensure their self-sufficiency. Managing stress in the township is no easy feat, but with compassionate individuals like Muriel, they are empowering the next generation and offering much-needed support.
In my role, I’ve had the privilege of coaching members of the township community, guiding them in developing their entrepreneurial mindset and skills. It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience witnessing their growth and witnessing the positive impact it has on their lives.
Another aspect of our work that fills me with joy is delivering stress management and wellbeing workshops to various communities. By addressing their stress-related issues, we’ve been able to contribute to their overall health and well-being, making a tangible difference in their lives.
Anthea and Dreamcatcher’s dedication and achievements over the years have my utmost endorsement.
I stand firmly by their side, supporting their visionary work, and look forward to continuing this meaningful journey together”.