From the Director’s Desk
By Deborah Diedericks (Director)
We start 2017 in the aftershock of the Trump election, preventable deaths of over a hundred psychiatric patients in Gauteng reverberating. The question as always, what can we do, you and I, to change the world for the better.
I am deeply thankful to be able to say that in a school-based randomized control trial, Abangane was found to decrease problematic grief, depression symptoms, and internalizing and attention problems. In partnership with Child Welfare Bloemfontein and Childline Free State, Khululeka had developed the Abangane curriculum, a grief support group programme specifically aimed at adolescent South African girls who had experienced the death of someone important in their lives.
Nearly a third of all new HIV infections in South Africa occur in 15-24 year olds, with young women in this age group being five to six times more likely to be infected that their male peers (Abdool Karim, 2014). The positive evaluation of the Abangane curriculum is really good news because there is a clear link between depression and condom use.
This means that in supporting the psychological health of bereaved adolescent girls, we support their ability to make better sexual health decisions.
Khululeka is currently revising and improving the Abangane curriculum with the intention of rolling it out to as many bereaved adolescent girls across the country as we can.
Changing the world and the life of one bereaved adolescent girl at a time.