Framing Mental Health for Student Success

Fatima Rahiman

The silent or second pandemic – a phrase increasingly recognised as the spill-over of Covid-19’s impact on public mental health - particularly that of young adults, women and people living with young children, is high on the agenda globally. Siyaphumelela, in its bid to mitigate challenges to student success for which mental health is paramount, understands this need and has begun work, through its recently constituted workstream, to address this issue in the higher education sector.

“Mental health in an unequal world” - the theme of the past October’s World Mental Health day, cast a spotlight on the inequities or precarity that accelerates this second pandemic. In particular, in South Africa with the socioeconomic legacy of apartheid and inequality dynamics – termed the ‘’manufactured viruses’’, the Mental Health Awareness day spawned a host of media articles, peppered with sobering statistics about the vast number of affected South Africans with mental health issues before the Covid pandemic, and how this figure has since been exacerbated by the pandemic.