The CounsellingHub – Woodstock, a project of the SACAP Foundation, will be launched in January2019. The Counselling Hub will be offering low-cost counselling services with the objective of addressing the dearth of mental health services at the community level. Over the last twenty years, SACAP has been committed to transforming the mental health landscape in South Africa through the provision of educational training in higher education and the distinct Work IntegratedLearning (WIL) programme. The WIL programme provides SACAP students with the opportunity to work in numerous community organisations delivering services that are related to mental health such as counselling, psycho-social programmes, conducting needs assessments and developing community workshops amongst an array of other activities. Essentially, students in the WIL programme are able to translate their theoretical training in the classroom into practical and applied learning by working in organisations that would otherwise not have access to their skills and capabilities.
The integration of the WIL programme provides the Counselling Hub with a unique opportunity to deliver accessible and affordable mental health services. The cost of the services offered at the Counselling Hub represents a fraction (about 5%) of what individuals would pay to access counselling services in the private sector. As a WIL site, the Counselling Hub will be able to tap into SACAP students who have been trained to deliver short-term interventions such as counselling in individual and group settings. SACAP, and by extension, the SACAP Foundation, are intrinsically invested in developing interventions that translate into positive social impact in communities. Through the involvement of the WIL programme, the Counselling Hub will also have the opportunity to extend its social impact through student-driven research and projects.