File photo: African News Agency (ANA)

PORT ELIZABETH - Eastern Cape Health member of the executive council (MEC), Helen Sauls-August, on Tuesday said that her department has made R10 million available to improve mental healthcare in the province. 

The plan is to recruit mental healthcare practitioners and also to expand the the scope of mental health service providers to include community based mental health care programmes. 

According to the department, these appointments would be made before the end of the current financial year. 

The plan is to recruit three psychiatrists, 20 psychiatric nurses, four psychologists and 16 registered counsellors.

"Improving mental health facilities is receiving high priority this financial year and this has been translated into increasing the number of mental reviews boards from three to five to cover the five regional geographic areas," said Sauls-August in a statement. 

She said the department was responding for a growing demand of beds and upgrading mental health care facilities across the Eastern Cape. 

African News Agency (ANA)