Denmar Specialist Psychiatric Hospital in Pretoria is the largest standalone private psychiatric hospital in South Africa.

“The increasing burden of mental illness and need for treatment has been exacerbated by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Andre Meiring, General Manager of Denmar Specialist Psychiatric Hospital. “Fear, grief, anxiety, continued social distancing and related social isolation has impacted our individual and collective psyche. Looking for help is often the first step towards getting and staying well.”

At Denmar, treatment is adapted to suit each patient and monitored by a multidisciplinary team of psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses and occupational therapists. 

“It is our mission to provide quality inpatient mental health services in an empathetic, inviting and respectful environment to our patients, in which they actively participate in their treatment and recovery,” says Meiring. 

Admitting psychiatrists facilitate individual therapy. This includes individual psychiatric consultations and psychotherapy. Specific treatment can include medication, psychotherapy, compulsory group therapy, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and referrals to other members of the multidisciplinary tea

The group therapy programme is managed by occupational therapists. The programme is a powerful motivator for change and support for healing. 

Clinical psychologists conduct individual therapy together with the admitting psychiatrist. They select the most suitable type of treatment, such as:

  • cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) 
  • narrative therapy 
  • psychodynamic therapy 
  • eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.

Occupational therapy groups support all these treatments, enabling a multidisciplinary approach and maximising the efficacy of treatment.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is most commonly used in patients with severe major depression or bipolar disorder who have not responded to other treatments. ECT involves a brief electrical stimulation of the brain while the patient is under anaesthesia.

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