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TRISI - The Challenge

TRISI @TRISI_SA     Brian Rogers @TraumaActivist    

 While health isn’t everything, without health, nothing else matters”

CC Pollen Co-founder Royden Brown

Solutions to South Africa’s Psycho-Social Challenges

Trauma and Resilience-Informed Capability

The Challenge - Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi, the 2012 National Health Summit

Primary Health, Mental Health, Poverty, Violence, Substance Abuse, HIV/Aids and Customer Centricity

“At the 2012 National Health Summit, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi called for greater awareness, better planning and a move away from a “Hospicentric approach” to the treatment of Mental Illness. He described South Africa’s Mental Health Services as fragmented, unfairly distributed and inadequately resourced. “We know that there continues to be over-reliance on Psychiatric Hospitals as the mode to care, treatment and rehabilitation” Motsoaledi said. South Africa has continued to follow the colonial, “Hospicentric approach”, and in doing so have neglected critical aspects of Primary Health Care. He said that it is an offence against human rights and the country’s constitution to neglect the worse off in society.

Minister Motsoaledi voiced the need to scale up investment in South Africa’s Community-Based Mental Health services and reverse the trend of institutionalised care: “We must examine how Mental Health can be integrated into General Health Care and particularly into Primary Health Care”. “Because of their condition, Mental Health Care users are often ‘voiceless’, and it is critical that we both give this group the space to voice their needs and then respond appropriately through including Mental Health in all health plans and programmes” he stated.”

                   SA Federation for Mental Health Making Mental Health A South African Priority - July 2015 Awareness Campaign



Regrettably the Minister’s challenge cannot be met by South Africa’s Mental Health resources alone. An analysis of the historic and present academic and organisational capabilities in South Africa shows that they are probably too inwardly focused (too siloed) and too independent, to make an urgent collective impact on a solution to these expressed national needs alone.

  “We need to replenish our imagination.
We have to reimagine the desirable society we wanted, before it is too late.”
Prof Kopano Ratele

Prof Kopano Ratele Why I am against ‘transformation’; Sunday Tribune, September 21, 2014

Please download all sections of proposal here -


What is at stake?

We must urgently interrupt the South African 150 year cycle of interpersonal, inter community and inter cultural abuse.  This proposal clearly demonstrates such abuse invokes negative, high-impact Behavioral and Primary Health Traumatic responses – poor Traumatic Health. There is a negative, direct and sustainable influence on Substance Abuse, Violence, HIV/Aids and Poverty. The cost to the SA Economy is at let 2.2% of GDP. (Section 6) Unless we create solutions to the now obvious problems, the social capital required to sustain the nation will decline to an irreparable deficit. (Sections 12, 13, 14)

Children: (Sections 5, 11, 14)

Education – Adverse Traumatic experiences in childhood lead to disrupted neuro-development affecting growth, structuring and development of the brain leading to inability to cope with leaning pressures;

Primary Health – Bio-physiology impairment leading to short and long term Primary Health risks;

Mental Health – Half of all diagnosable mental illness begins by age 14 and 75% by age 24. Childhood Trauma is by far the most significant determinant of poor Mental Health;

Behavioral Health – Poor conflict management skills, poor social skills, impulsivity, attention deficit, difficult temperament, delinquency, adolescent substance abuse and violence;

(Sections 5-19)

In addition to adult traumatic experiences, social, emotional and cognitive impairmentin childhood manifests in adults:

Employment – Unresolved Trauma regulates difficulties in pursuing continuous employment, habitual high absenteeism and employment negative behaviors (Section 6.);

Primary Health – Unresolved Trauma  leads to adult disease, disabilityand early death (Sections 5, 6, 10, 11);

Mental Health (Sections 10, 11)

Trauma is both the cause and the consequence of Mental Health;
Poor Mental Health in early adulthood creates high epigenetic transfer risks in child rearing couples;
Suppression and masking of Traumatic experiences in early adulthood results in delayed Mental Illness onset displaying during primary economic contribution age (40-50);

Behavioral Health – (Sections 10, 11, 17)

Repetitive “learned”, and genetically transferred, negative intergenerational Behavior

Substance Abuse – Trauma triggers and sustains an ever increasing spiral of substance abuse;

Violence – Unresolved Trauma is the fuel for the cycle of violence in our country;

HIV/Aids – Trauma, as opposed to symptomatic risky behaviors, is the root cause of adult sexual delinquency leading directly to HIV/Aids and other social sexual diseases.

Poverty – Unresolved Trauma impairs the individual’s ability to cope, be self-sustaining and socially interactive trapping the individual in poverty



Please Note: This proposal took three years of research and was entirely self-funded. All information is available freely. Should you wish to quote from this document please use the reference as indicated at the top of the page. If you find use for any of the material in this document, it would be sincerely appreciated if you made, of your own free will, a donation to PTG-RR: Post Traumatic Growth - Response and Resources; Trust No. IT002468/2013  NPO No. 135-315 ;


Bank details:   


Nedbank Current Account 

Branch Rondebosch: 104809 

Current Account: 1068754982


Should you wish to quote from this document please use the following reference:

Reference: Brian Rogers. Trauma & Resilience-Informed Solutions Institute of Southern Africa – Proposal of a Trauma-Activist; PTG-RR; Sep 2015


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