Registered Containment Officers; A Grassroots-Level Mental Health Framework for South Africa


Over the past two decades, progressive changes to mental health policies and legislature have been implemented all over the world, South Africa included. As a low- and middle-income country plagued by compounding factors such as high unemployment rates and high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, the execution of mental health reform initiatives in South Africa have been inconsistent and inadequate. Research indicates that there are significant gaps in South Africa’s mental healthcare system and the majority of funding and resources are funneled towards short-term curative interventions. As research in the field of adolescent mental health advances, it shows the importance of mental well-being in the development of children as well as the long-term effects on the emerging adults. This manuscript describes a preventative grassroots intervention designed to use resources currently available in South Africa to create long-term, generational changes while inherently destigmatizing mental illness. By appropriately training and registering Psychology Honours graduates as Registered Containment Officers and adapting the current Life Orientation curriculum to focus on psychological concepts and mental well-being, it is possible to create generations of children and adults with a psychological understanding and a destigmatized perspective of mental health. This framework requires intersectoral collaboration from a number of regulating bodies and government departments, all with the aim of creating realistic preventative change in South Africa while
creating employment, promoting mental health, and protecting the country’s future.

When Cognition & Co started, the goal was always to advocate for mental health in South Africa and do so by investing in the future human resources of mental health; the Psychology Students. If you’re reading this, it’s because you understand the barriers to progression through the field, despite a critical need for mental health resources in the country.

We believe that in the better use and training of Psychology Honours graduates with registrations leading directly to school based placements, those passionate individuals in the field can use their academic knowledge to effectively create preventative change in South Africa’s mental health fields.

To access our paper, please click on the link below;


Benyon, D. (2021). Registered Containment Officers; A Grassroots-Level Mental Health Framework for South Africa. Acta Scientific Medical Sciences5(5), 209-220. Retrieved 3 May 2021, from

Leave a Reply