Durban - To celebrate Women’s Month, a panel of women is discussing mental health, with specific reference to anxiety and depression. The Community Conversations will host the panel at noon on Saturday as part of the South African Women’s Arts Festival which runs at Durban’s Playhouse until August 20.
“We’re living in a time where health consciousness is on the rise, and it’s beautiful seeing more and more people accessing knowledge and tools of wellness. There are, however, still barriers to this information, and the benefit of taking up mental health services, especially in our black communities, where stigma, pride and a lack of information prevent more of us from seeking help. The time-old challenge of affordability of mental health services is no longer relevant, as there are many ways to access these services for free,” said Ash-Leigh La Foy, who will be one of four panellists during the Community Conversations this Saturday (August 12).
In celebration of Women’s Month, the Community Conversations form part of the South African Women’s Arts Festival, which is on at the Durban Playhouse until August 20.
La Foy said the conversations focus on mental health, with a focus on depression and anxiety. A topic dear to her heart, La Foy said it was important to have such discussions, especially in the creative industry in which artists face many challenges. She said the industry could be “autocratic and cut-throat”.
“As women, and more specifically African women, we have always been at the centre of healing and healing modalities, whether formally or informally. It is important that we as black conscious women understand our role in putting a stop to the cycles of trauma we all find ourselves victims of, whether genetically, spiritually, domestically or systematically. Women standing up in the mental health space aligns perfectly with our nurturing nature, and as such we are taking a stance as women who care for ourselves, our families and the various communities and industries we operate within. With the rise of more women involved in leadership in corporate spaces, we have inevitably brought more empathy and more understanding into our workspaces,” she said.
La Foy said she would also be involved in the festival as a performer, under her name Lex LaFoy.
The Independent on Saturday