Fourth-year Psychiatric Nursing students from the College of Health Sciences have started a new outreach programme called Fairvale Awareness and Recovery (FAR), in partnership with the Fairvale Secondary School in Wentworth, Durban.
The students behind this programma are: Ms Kelly Mather, Mr Sgcino Hlophe, Ms Zandile Khumalo, Ms Tholakhele Mkhize, Ms Zamazulu Zulu, Ms Slindile Makhwasa and Mr Chiragudeen Shaik.
The student group is also working with the Fairvale Awareness and Recovery Campaign which is a programme that was initiated by Fairvale school to fight substance abuse and assist students recovering from drug abuse.
‘We have seen what substance abuse does to young people, including how that substance abuse can lead to mental illnesses, we have decided to focus on awareness and preventative measures to help young sufferers, our emphasis is on educating the youth and old about the impact of the drug scourge.’ said Shaik
The programme is aimed at identifying learners with potential and to provide them with training and skills to develop into peer mentors. ‘These peer mentors will be able to identify and assist fellow pupils who need help,’ said Shaik.
Some mentors have already been trained and also received tutoring from two nurses and a social worker from the Wentworth Psychiatric Clinic on patient confidentiality.
‘We have also collaborated with the Malibongwe Senior Citizens Club in order to promote community links. We want the community to move forward with this programme themselves,’ said Shaik.