False Bay Primary partners with Community Keepers

Yesterday, it was a privilege to launch our partnership with False Bay Primary in Macassar as we cut the ribbon to officially open our rooms on their school premises.  This is our 34th partner school.

Thank you Mr Engelbrecht, and your team, for hosting us, we look forward to working together.  Is was also exciting to look across and see your new school building under construction and to hear that False Bay Primary is earmarked as a Mega School, serving and supporting thousands of learners from the local communities.

This school partnership is significant as it forms part of a broader initiative working to strengthen child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in resource constrained areas of the Western Cape.  Earlier this year, we approached MEC Nomafrench Mbombo to ask whether there was a way to collaborate more effectively with the Department of Health and Wellness, to help carry the burden of psychological services to school going youth.  We were introduced to Dr Rene Nassen (MBChB, FCPsych, Cert Child Psych, MPhil Child Psych) who is also the provincial co-ordinator of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) strengthening project within the Khayelitsha Eastern Substructure (KESS).

One of our KPAs for 2022 is “consciously connecting and re-connecting post-Covid” and this collaboration is one of our achievements.

Dr Bennie Steyn, Deon Engelbrecht, Dr Rene Nassen, Dr Tamara Maresky, Gerrit Laning, Melissa Luckhoff and Tracy-Lee Waullenbach

“Prevention is better than cure and it all starts with the family.”

Karin Blanckenberg, CK Social Worker Vulani Thuketana and WCED Social Worker Melissa Luckhoff
Ms Toni du Toit (Principal at St Paul’s Primary), Mieke van der Merwe and Mr Engelbrecht (Principal at False Bay Primary)
Principal Deon Engelbrecht with CK Area Managers Elanie van Zyl and Mieke van der Merwe and CK Therapists Morne Oosthuizen and Amy Ward

CK CEO Gerrit Laning, CK board member Tracy-Lee Waullenbach, Dr Rene Nassen, CK Chairman Andre du Plessis, CK Care Facilitator Candice Cooksen, Dr Tamara Maresky and Dr Bennie Steyn

October is Mental Health Awareness Month and the theme is MAKE MENTAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING FOR ALL A GLOBAL PRIORITY.  Did you know that South Africa has the most child and adolescent psychiatrists in Africa yet there are now fewer than 60 and less than 20 of these specialists work in the public sector?  Researchers also tell us that about 17% of children in the Western Cape are likely to be living with a mental disorder, half of all adult mental illness start before age of 14, and one in five children has a parent with a mental disorder.

Community Keepers provides therapeutic interventions but our focus is on prevention and early intervention with the aim of promoting resilience, positive coping skills and creating a supportive environment where everyone can thrive.

If your school would like to join our waiting list, please complete this form.

In closing, we would like to share the poem that Shandre Simons, one of the school secretaries, wrote and which was beautifully recited at the event by a Grade 5 learner:

A POEM FOR ALL OF US

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will

When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit !

All you have to see is…

 

You matter more than you know

You are more amazing than you think

You can love more than you can imagine

We can be mended… We mend each other

 

By saying: “Thank you”

By saying: “Please”

We don’t interrupt or tease

We don’t argue. We don’t fuss

We listen when friends talk to us

Good manners are hard to learn they say

It’s really easy when you find what good manners mean: JUST BE KIND.

We choose not to reveal the identities of minors in our social media posts but recorded their beautiful rendition of the school song.

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