Tekkies and teamwork – NWU to walk for mental awareness

Belinda Bantham -- Thu, 03/14/2019 - 14:17

Tekkies and teamwork – NWU to walk for mental awareness

It is safe to say that the state of South Africa’s mental wellbeing is in severe crisis.  Statistics released by the South African Depression and Anxiety Group puts it that as many as one in six South Africans suffers from anxiety, depression or substance-use problems – and this does not include more serious conditions such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

With this in mind, the North-West University’s (NWU) Alumni Office and Health Care Centre in Vanderbijlpark will be hosting a mental health awareness walk on Saturday, 16 March 2019. 

According to Zanele Ngobese, alumni coordinator, the walk will see members of the alumni fraternity, current students and members of the community joining hands in spreading the message of hope and support.

According to the campus clinician, Mapeete Rasoaisi, mental health has been hidden behind a curtain of stigma for too long, and by means of this collaboration the campus community hopes to bring the issue to the fore.

“Given the magnitude and impact of mental health challenges for individuals, families and societies, it is important for communities to make an investment in mental health and wellness,” says Mapeete and adds that the 10 km fun walk, which is open to the public, symbolises the enabling power of active support networks.

She further explains that mental wellbeing is fundamental to the quality of life and productivity of individuals, families and communities and the NWU - as an integral part of the Vanderbijlpark community – is committed towards empowering people to experience life as meaningful and active citizens.

More about the fun walk

The 10 km walk starts at 05:30 at the campus’s RAG Farm next to the Vaal River. Participants will walk through the campus grounds to Hendrik van Eck Boulevard, left onto Louis Trichardt Boulevard towards the Emerald Casino and back to the campus via the casino premises.  The first 100 finishers will be receive medals commemorating the event.

Registration fees amount to R50, and for registered university students R20. Participants can pay the registration fee on the day, or pre-register by contacting Julia du Plooy on 016 910 3163 or Zanele Ngobese on 016 910 3250. Alternatively you can send an e-mail to julia.duplooy@nwu.ac.za or zanele.ngobese@nwu.ac.za