Making Addiction & Mental Health a Priority


Making Addiction & Mental Health a Priority

Fundraising During the Pandemic

There is a lot of understandable focus in South Africa at the moment regarding raising funds to assist those who have no money, food and medical supplies Many people who live outside of South Africa are unaware that 56% of South Africans live on or below the poverty line and are reliant on daily work and support from local charities for food and basic health care. The frenzied approach to feeding the masses in South Africa has been illuminating. A fund started on a popular South African news channel which raised over 6Million Rand in 3 days and very much highlighted for me the seriousness of the situation and highlighted that the government alone will cannot be able to cope without extra resources like this.

Twin Rivers New Initiative

Over the past few weeks I have written articles and blogs about addiction and mental health and it suddenly dawned on me that perhaps Twin Rivers Rehab could start a ‘foundation’ to raise funds for those who desperately need professional assistance with addiction and mental health disorders such as depression. I engaged in a lengthy conversation with SADAG-South African Depression & Anxiety Group (NGO) and they confirmed the pressure they have found themselves under during the lockdown and the growing need for assistance with addiction and mental health in these challenging times. What inspired me further was a comment that a SADAG representative made after I had offered some of their clients a heavily discounted rate for residential rehab. She referred to Twin Rivers as “Another private rehab that is open during lockdown and charging a lot.” This comment highlighted for me the great divide that exists between NGO’s, NPO’s and private/independent businesses, especially in the field of addiction and mental health. Twin Rivers is now an independent/private treatment centre with a registered NPO directly attached as a platform to create financial assistance assist those who may otherwise never experience essential residential treatment. The funding will be purely for clients to attend Twin Rivers Rehab ONLY and hopefully help clients with aftercare costs as well.

I made some enquiries about how to best approach the starting of a foundation and was advised to contact an accountant. My biggest concern was starting this foundation leaving it wide open for doubters and sceptics to discredit Twin Rivers efforts. This concern was also underpinned by the reality of the number of scams that are taking place in South Africa which have risen since the inception of the coronavirus. Whilst some businesses and individuals have ‘used’ this pandemic to enrich themselves it has made genuine fundraising more of a challenge!

How Does the Foundation Work?

The Dragonfly Foundation is a professionally managed fund that will be utilized to assist addicts and people suffering with mental health issues who have limited resources to be able to pay for residential treatment. Its important that the right clients get funded and so each applicant will be critically reviewed and evaluated for official approval by the three appointed fund directors.

Clients who have any level of funding from the foundation will experience the same programme as the clients who have paid privately.

The greater the response from those who donate the broader the service we can offer those who desperately need help but have limited access to finances.