Ekupholeni Mental Health Centre

Natalspruit Hospital, Katlehong

Ansprechpartner: Kistner, Johanna

+27-011 909 2929
+27-011 487 0480


  • Gemeinschaft, Gemeindeprojekt
  • Sozialpolitik/behinderte Menschen
  • Frauenpolitik/feministisches Projekt
  • Übernachtungsmöglichkeiten
  • Freiwillige Helfer sind willkommen.

Über uns

Ekupholeni translated means "Place of healing", which is exactly what this community-based health institution has come to stand for in the areas of Katlehong, Thokoza, Vosloorus and the surrounding informal settlements. The area is generally known as "Katorus".

Katorus is a large sprawling urban settlement, twenty five kilometres south east of Johannesburg. Over 2.5 million people live in apartheid area township housing. It is characterised by extreme poverty and violence and is home to many criminal gangs. The region suffered tremendous political violence from the late 1980s to the mid 1990s when thousands of people died or were injured or displaced during this period. In addition to the after-effects of political violence, the community has serious social problems including severe poverty, violence, unemployment, domestic violence, sexual abuse and rape. HIV/AIDS is decimating families already carrying heavy psycho-social burdens associated with years of violent conflict. Family breakdown, school dropouts and an ongoing cycle of violence are some of the effects of years of deprivation and suffering. These problems contribute to mental ill-health, that is recognised as a major limitation to successful transformation in South Africa. In this context Ekupholeni strives to render sustainable, systemic and comprehensive mental health services involving community-centred processes of healing, recovery and empowerment.

The six primary programmes revolve around three main focus areas: gender violence, children and youth, and HIV/AIDS. Each programme has different levels of interventions, ranging from individual and family intervention to community healing projects. The therapeutic approach draws on the narrative paradigm and builds into these rituals and other methods of healing which communities and families traditionally rely one. This health care centre provides mental health services on three levels: individual face-to-face counselling, group counselling and community mental health development projects.

Ekupholeni is different from conventional mental health services. It contextualises healing in creative ways. As helper and client reach out to each other, healing happens within that relationship and both are enriched. Every client is also seen as a potential helper and this role is encouraged and strengthened.

Johanna Kistner is the director of the Ekupholeni Mental Health Centre.

For other net participants we can offer overnight facilities. Further we can offer an expert guidance through trained staff and procure expert information in the following field: community based mental health services.