Kevashini Govender-Naidoo & Ayesha Booley-Schreuder | EAPA-SA

Mental Illness: The Next Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Friday 4 September 10am – 11:30am

Content Focus Area: Futureshock: How has the workplace changed in unforeseen ways?


Presentation Abstract: Mental illness in the workplace is rife but it is often not prioritised and leaders often lack the necessary skills to detect mental illness and guide appropriate intervention. As a result, this can give rise to significant disruptions in the workplace and financial loss. Organisations with mental health issues are now facing even more challenges with the current pandemic, which has caused a surge of psychological distress. Furthermore, people will also be left with painful feelings, memories and symptoms long after the pandemic is over. Clinically, people display post–trauma symptoms following a traumatic incident. These symptoms can range from being experienced as mild to severe, but no person is left unscathed following a trauma. People intrinsically seek support from friends, family, communities and religious groups during and following traumatic events. However, this has not been possible with this virus, which requires social distancing and isolation in personal lives and at work. The virus has stripped people of strategies that they would normally use to access support and to cope, making them more vulnerable to mental illness following the pandemic. People with growing mental health needs, now have less access to mental health services due to an overwhelmed health system. It is becoming increasingly clear and evident that we are facing a mental health crisis, a second wave of the pandemic. There needs to be full consideration of the current mental health needs of people within the workplace and a proactive and preventative approach for raising awareness and detecting mental illness. Mental health is everyone’s business and responsibility.


Learning Objectives: 

1. Impact of current pandemic on mental health

2. Post- traumatic stress syndrome and other clinical diagnoses

3. New preventative and proactive ways to identify mental illness in the workplace

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Kevashini Govender-Naidoo

Kevashini Govender-Naidoo

Impilo Consulting: Clinical Psychologists, Specialist Organisational and Development Support

Kevashini Govender-Naidoo is a University of Cape Town trained clinical psychologist and a specialist organisational development and support consultant. After approximately 20 years of clinical experience,  Kevashini co-founded Impilo Consulting in 2017. She took an interest in systems-psychodynamic work with organisations as a psychology student, and developed an expertise through extensive and diverse experience in the public and private sectors. Her clinical experience also includes practice with individuals, groups and organisations in South Africa and the United Kingdom. She is especially interested in the impact of mental health in the workplace, student wellness within tertiary institutions and scholarship funds as well as issues of race, power and gender within organisations.

Ayesha Booley-Schreuder

Ayesha Booley-Schreuder

Impilo Consulting: Clinical Psychologists, Specialist Organisational and Development Support

Ayesha Booley-Schreuder is a Clinical Psychologist, registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). She completed her undergraduate studies in Psychology in 1995 as well as her Masters in Clinical Psychology in 2007, both at the University of Cape Town. Ayesha has diverse experience in the NGO and community sectors as a specialist organisational development and support consultant. She co-founded Impilo Consulting in 2017 and prior to this has had extensive clinical experience working with individuals of all ages, groups and organisations, both in private practice and within the context of the University of Cape Town. Her special area of interest is in working psychodynamically with groups and organisations. Ayesha's diverse experience within these contexts span across race, ethnicity, class, and issues of power and conflict in a broad range of organisations.

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