RUN4YOU – follow up

What a blessed day it was for everyone. The best word to describe it is: excellent!
People do support mental health; the evidence is in the support we received for the Run4You event, but more about that later on.

All the months of planning and hard work came together and fitted together like a hand in a glove! The committee (I call them the Dream Team) came and helped with the set up. The team consisted mostly of my family. One of my brothers was responsible for the sound. The music helped to create an exciting atmosphere. It was such an amazing feeling and great honour when Vista’s minibus arrived on the premises. They brought beautiful, coloured Happiness HELPS banners that we used to set up a start and finish point. It created such a welcoming effect.DSCN6137

Continue “RUN4YOU – follow up”

Developing an attitude of gratitude #5

What would you see if you really look at the world?

Take a minute to think about it, or better yet take a moment to look around you and become aware of what you see.

Part of developing an attitude of gratitude is to develop the ability to be mindful. Please note when I say mindful I don’t mean looking in all the compartments of your brain and discovering all the clutter.  Then realizing you still have a draw in there that has a million of your “life goals” you should have achieved by the age of twenty, and here you are in you late twenties and proud of yourself if you are able to make it to work. (Insert panic attack here.)

Gratitude Continue “Developing an attitude of gratitude #5”

World mental health day

Health is not merely the absence of disease, but a state of physical, mental and social well being. For many years this statement has been the main focus area for the World Health Organization when addressing issues of mental health. You might be wondering why I am babbling on with the WHO buuut….

For those of you you may not know, tomorrow the 10th of October is World Mental Health Day!!

Here at the clinic we have started our celebrations early this morning and will be ending off the festivities on Sunday the 11th of October with our World Mental Health Day Fun Run. I do hope all of you reading this will be able to join us on that day. After all I am not asking you to run away from mental health, I am merely asking you to run for it.

“Thousands of people with mental health conditions around the world are deprived of their human rights. They are not only discriminated against, stigmatised and marginalised but are also subject to emotional and physical abuse in both mental health facilities and the community. Poor quality care due to a lack of qualified health professionals and dilapidated facilities leads to further violations.

The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day, observed on 10 October, is “Dignity in mental health”. This year, WHO will be raising awareness of what can be done to ensure that people with mental health conditions can continue to live with dignity, through human rights oriented policy and law, training of health professionals, respect for informed consent to treatment, inclusion in decision-making processes, and public information campaigns.”world-mental-health-day Continue “World mental health day”

10 Tips to deal with difficult people

Most of us have that one person at work that we just find impossible to deal with, but before you loose your cool. Here are 10 tips for dealing with difficult people complements of Psychology Today.

1. Keep Your Cool

Benefits: Maintain self-control. Avoid escalation of problem.

How: The first rule in the face of an unreasonable person is to maintain your composure; the less reactive you are, the more you can use your better judgment to handle the situation.

When you feel angry or upset with someone, before you say something you might later regret, take a deep breath and count slowly to ten. In most circumstances, by the time you reach ten, you would have figured out a better way of communicating the issue, so that you can reduce, instead of escalate the problem. If you’re still upset after counting to ten, take a time out if possible, and revisit the issue after you calm down.

2. “Fly Like an Eagle”

Benefits: More peace of mind. Reduce risk of friction.

How: Some people in our lives are simply not worth tussling with. Your time is valuable, so unless there’s something important at stake, don’t waste it by trying to change or convince a person who’s negatively entrenched. As the saying goes: “You can’t fly like an eagle if you hang out with turkeys!” Whether you’re dealing with a difficult colleague or an annoying relative, be diplomatic and apply the tips from this article when you need to interact with them. The rest of the time, keep a healthy distance.

3. Shift from Being Reactive to Proactive

Benefits: Minimize misinterpretation & misunderstanding. Concentrate energy on problem-solving.

How: When you feel offended by someone’s words or deeds, come up with multiple ways of viewing the situation before reacting. For example, I may be tempted to think that my co-worker is ignoring my messages, or I can consider the possibility that she’s been very busy. When we avoid personalizing other people’s behaviors, we can perceive their expressions more objectively. People do what they do because of them more than because of us. Widening our perspective on the situation can reduce the possibility of misunderstanding.


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Vista’s fun run for mental health: Run With Me

Vista celebrated world mental health day with a fun run in the true meaning of the word! The sight of a string of orange, yellow, pink, blue and purple balloons welcomed the runners and lifted one’s mood. The staff wore the same colour t-shirts as the balloons and greeted everyone with friendly smiles.


I could not participate in the race because my body is burned out, so I walked with crutches. They organized a wheelchair for me, and Dr Jerrie Bezuidenhoudt, my psychiatrist, offered to push me for the five kilometres; without hesitation, I said yes!
I had the privilege to ring the bell to start off the race. I started the race with Dr Jerrie pushing me. After a while, Francois (Vista’s CEO) took over from him and that was where the fun began. He started to run with me! When he got tired he shouted to the gentleman in front: Now it’s your turn! Then he would let go, and someone else took over so they passed me from one athlete to the next. David Larkan and another gentleman pushed me most of the time. They are heroes in my eyes. The road was not wheelchair friendly, but they kept going. When they were out of breath, I would suggest: Let’s walk for a while’, but they refused and kept on running Continue “Vista’s fun run for mental health: Run With Me”

Count your blessings!

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. This phrase always made me feel so inferior. It made me feel like people think you are ugly and they don’t want to make you feel bad so they are basically saying…”hey I don’t think you look that good, but I’m sure someone out there does.

However, today this phrase became much more clear after reading


A famous writer was in his study.. He picked up his pen and began writing:

**  Last year, I had a surgery and my gall bladder was removed.  I had to stay stuck in bed due to this surgery for a long time.
**  The same year I reached the age of 60 years and had to give up my favorite job. I had spent 30 years of my life in this publishing company.
**  The same year I experienced the sorrow of the death of my father.
**  In the same year my son failed in his medical exam because he had a car accident. He had to stay in bed at hospital with the cast on for several days.
**  And the destruction of the car was another loss. Continue “Count your blessings!”

Medicine Mondays!

Hearing you have an anxiety or mood disorder is a hard pill to swallow, not to mention the difficulties that come with the actual pill swallowing that occurs after the diagnosis. Medical science has yet to find a cure for mood and anxiety disorders, however the development of SSRI’s (Serotonin Selective Reuptake Inhibitors), and others like SNRI’s, NDRI’s and NRI’s it seems like there is light at the end of the dark tunnel.

However, for many this is only the beginning of the long and confusing road so this week we are introducing something new……. Medicine Mondays!!!

This come about as so many patients using anti-depressants for the first time do not know what to expect from their medication and what the possible side effects are. I will attempt to answer the most frequently asked questions when it comes to taking psychiatric medication.

drugs Continue “Medicine Mondays!”

Wheelchair fun!

Because of my legs, I had no strength to stand or walk, so I sat at home for days! The first few days weren’t that much of an issue, but eventually the frustration started to build. It was horrible to sit and wait for my legs to gain strength again, so my optimism also started to flee.

wheelchair fun

I needed to make a plan to get myself out of the house to lift my mood, so I started asking questions: What could I still do physically where I don’t need to use leg muscles? Well, I still had my upper body strength, so I can use that as a start. Then the light bulb went on: ‘Wheelchair! I can still be mobile! Let’s go to the mall!’
For once, I didn’t feel guilty to park in the parking space for people with disabilities. I asked a friend that works in the mall to help me get a wheelchair. Once I was in it, the fun started! Continue “Wheelchair fun!”

The Stress Coaster

I can’t sleep, not really. I constantly find myself in a state of anxiety. I’m snappy. I am in a type of freeze state. I’m feeling down and I consistently worry.

I have no doubt that there are many people out there who are nodding in agreement. Who are also feeling all these things or have experienced them before. I am describing the experience of having to deal with an event that is possibly life changing, but possess a great big, fat unknown factor.

People, we HAVE to learn! Almost every person has gone through some or other life experience, I should say worried through (not gone through) a life experience, only to look back at it and realize that it was not as terrible as we thought it would be. It didn’t have the impact we predicted. It was something that could be learned from.

Yet when we go through the next challenge in our lives we do it all over again. Continue “The Stress Coaster”

3 Spiritual practices you might already be doing

For many years I have seen myself as an extreme extrovert as someone who is constantly friendly and has a silly personality. The day I found out that I am in actual fact not an extravert, but very much an introvert, my whole world come to a standstill. I did not want to be known as the “shy” one. Does this now mean my funny and fun behavior was all a show? As I started reading more about the subject I learnt so much more about myself and that there are many myths out there regarding introverts.

One of the most significant things that this piece of information cleared up for me was in my spiritual life. I never really liked going to churches where there is a band and people singing and holding hands. I am much more the “be quite and listen” type and for so long a felt guilty for not being interested in the band and singing thing. So yesterday I was given a very interesting article regarding spirituality and this fact written by Lacy Ellman from the Huffington post.

I would like to share it with you…

introvert-badge      Continue “3 Spiritual practices you might already be doing”