Mental Health Talks Get Real at Rewardsco
October is Mental Health Awareness Month, so Rewardsco lined up exceptional mental health experts for a series of insightful talks that were held on our campus every Tuesday throughout the month.
These speakers not only gave our people valuable insights, encouragement and understanding of the various facets of mental health, but also led emotional yet cathartic Q&A sessions where staff could be open and honest while feeling safe and supported at the same time. Every possible measure was taken to ensure privacy and confidentiality so that our attendees could participate with peace of mind.
The talks were followed by the distribution of digital information packs containing vital information and contact details of professional people and organisations that offer much- needed help and support. We firmly believe that everyone should be equipped to foster good mental health, so we’re extremely proud of the great response we received and grateful for the participation of our expert speakers.
Here’s a short overview of each talk held throughout Mental Health Awareness Month:
Sbu “Charlie” Masoka on Addiction
On 3rd October, Sbu joined us at Rewardsco to deliver a heartfelt talk on addiction. Sbu, also known as Charlie to his Angels (his three daughters), is a streetwise Motivational Speaker, Social Activist and Programme Director with vast experience working with community radio stations, schools, outreach programmes and key government institutions like the Department of Social Justice.
He generously shared his personal story of battling addiction and abuse. Sbu has lost loved ones and even found himself living on the streets, but his most important lesson was about finding the road to redemption through love, acceptance and support in a 12-step programme.
Sbu’s knowledge of substance abuse and his infectiously positive attitude inspired the audience and drove home the message that every addict can be free from the disease of addiction once they admit they have a problem and ask for help, which is readily available at organisations across South Africa.
Get in touch with Sbu:
Cell: 082 671 2232
Heather Reen on Loss & Grief
Heather is a professional Grief Coach and SoulCollage Facilitator who joined us at Rewardsco on 10th October to deliver an emotionally stirring talk on loss and grief. Heather tragically lost her partner and young daughter in an accident in 2016 but turned that tragedy into triumph by becoming an advocate for healing.
This powerful talk reminded the audience that grief is not just about somebody dying. There’s divorce, breakups, new careers and many other life-changing experiences that can cause grief. “Anger, sadness, depression and not sleeping well are all things that people battle with when grieving”, said Heather.
Heather further stated: “Grief is such a taboo subject in our society, and I want to be part of seeing that change. All of us are going to face loss and grief in one way or another in our lifetimes and it is high time we started talking about it. Don’t ever be scared of asking for help”.
Get in touch with Heather:
Cell: 078 894 2879
Benton Rathbone on Anxiety & Depression
Benton is a passionate Personal Trainer, Life Coach, NLP Practitioner and Cognitive Behavioural Therapist who has suffered with anxiety and depression from an early age. Now, at 46, his personal struggles fuel his desire to help others by sharing his personal knowledge, the red flags to look out for and the tools that empower people to make positive, practical changes in their lives.
Benton certainly connected with our audience, who were brave enough to stand up, be vulnerable and share their own battles with anxiety and depression. Even more encouraging was the genuine, heart-warming support they received from their friends and peers in the audience, demonstrating that people are willing and ready to support you on your journey back to good mental health. All you have to do is take that first step and ask for help.
As Benton said: “I know the pain and suffering that comes with depression and I know the terror that accompanies anxiety. There are ways to manage it and still live a successful, happy and healthy life, even with a mental health condition”.
Get in touch with Benton:
Cell: 082 699 5397
Nkosi Mabaso, Nontobeko Ndlovu & Ann Young on Trauma and Gender-Based Violence
The Open Door Crisis Care Centre (ODCCC), which is proudly supported by Rewardsco, opened in 1997 as a trauma and counselling centre for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, abuse and human trafficking. Bringing an insightful and interactive talk to our attendees were Nkosi Mabaso and Ann Young from the ODCCC, two esteemed counsellors who are passionate about helping victims of trauma and gender-based violence.
Nkosi is a professional Social Worker and Councillor at the ODCCC’s Men for Change Shelter, educating and empowering men and young boys to overcome trauma and live their best lives. Ann holds diplomas in Victim Empowerment, as well as Trauma and Bereavement Counselling. She has over 5 years of experience at the ODCCC counselling victims and helping them heal through her honest, open approach.
Both speakers led an emotional yet cathartic session where the audience shared their own stories of trauma and abuse and explored ways to heal and find happiness.
Get in touch with the Open Door Crisis Care Centre:
Telephone: 031 709 2679
Address: 7 Windsor Road, Pinetown, Kwazulu Natal