In order to address the harsh realities that exist within South Africa a well trained, inspired workforce of supportive counsellors is needed to service those people who fall by the wayside of accessible mental health services and make a meaningful social impact.
At SACAP we believe that our fieldwork programme is the first step towards empowering our student counsellors. We have partnered with more than 100 NGOs, with a specific focus on those that make a social impact in their community. Our students spend time working at these NGOs, gaining valuable work experience and we would like to acknowledge our amazing partner NGOs through a series of posts featuring their work.
The Talisman Foundation was established in Johannesburg in 1979, as a residential home for persons diagnosed with mental illness. As an organisation offering custodial care, they expanded their services and changed to a rehabilitation model that fostered independent living. Due to the increase in demand Talisman moved to bigger premises in 2003, allowing them to expand their service offering even further.
Like everyone else, the people at Talisman are on the journey of life, but due to their personal circumstances they find themselves “alone” at a crossroads, in need of hope and direction. The Talisman Foundation provides a new start, by helping them make the first step towards recovery.
A Talisman is an object, often a crystal or gemstone that enables a person to focus and amplify his or her power. It is not a lucky rock. Its power lies in its ability to aid a person in achieving their desired future. The Talisman Foundation is a place that takes shattered lives and cultivates greater possibilities by harnessing the person’s own powers and personal cooperation. They do this by providing a temporary home and rehabilitation support for those who need it.
Talisman Foundation’s philosophy is based on three pillars:
- Structured activity tailored to individual needs
- Personal participation
- Personal exploration
Central to this is the philosophy of a client centred approach.
In 2013 Talisman became a SACAP fieldwork partner and have since had 7 students who have completed their fieldwork at the foundation and 3 who volunteered to gain exposure in the field. Four of those students continue to offer their services on a voluntary basis, gaining experience and improving their knowledge in psychopathology.
Thabiso Mailula, Senior Psychosocial Facilitator at the Foundation says that they have benefited a great deal from having the students do their fieldwork with them. “Having the students at the Foundation has proven to be very helpful especially with the staff shortage challenges we face. They all displayed professional conduct at all times, showing immense flexibility and creativity in the individual and group facilitation at the Foundation”, concludes Mailula.
The Talisman Foundation faces many challenges in meeting the short and long term needs of its residents. South Africans can help by giving of their time, donating, sponsoring a resident or adopting a resident. On Friday, 27th March world-famous jazz musician Abdullah Ibraham will be performing a benefit concert at the Talisman Foundation. All proceeds raised from this event will go towards the Talisman Foundation.