Village Shrink says health top priority

Mdantsane-born clinical psychologist Mthetho Tshemese will set out to bust a few medical myths with his new TV show, Village Shrink.

The hour-long show premiers on the new Good Life Network, on channel 199 on DSTV, next week.

LOYAL SON:  Clinical psychologist Mthetho Tshemese  is surrounded by Grade 11 pupils at his former school, Sinikiwe High, in Mdantsane’s NU7
LOYAL SON: Clinical psychologist Mthetho Tshemese is surrounded by Grade 11 pupils at his former school, Sinikiwe High, in Mdantsane’s NU7

Village Shrink focuses on mental health issues like depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, bipolar mood disorder and autism.

It will raise awareness about medical conditions and discuss beliefs that attribute various symptoms to bewitchment or ancestral callings.

Tshemese will also visit communities around the country to talk in the comfort of their own homes about health issues they may have.

Village Shrink is produced by Ochre Media, a division of Tiso Blackstar Group (Tiso Black Star Group), in partnership with Soul City and the National Department of Health.

Tshemese, 38, who runs a private practice in Bryanston, Johannesburg, yesterday spoke to the Daily Dispatch at his former high school, Sinikiwe High School in NU7, after he addressed the 261 pupils.

“Every milestone I go through in my life, I come here to share it with the school, both to keep pupils inspired and motivated and also for the teachers, particularly those who taught me when I was here.

“My teachers had to deal with an emotionally struggling pupil who had undiagnosed depression and possible attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity. But they helped me in so many ways and went beyond their call of duty.

“Had it not been for them, I could have ended up like many of my friends – dead or jailed.

“This is a culture I want to instill into other professionals, so we stay connected with where we come from and allow for people who are where we once were to relate and add hope that they can also be where we are,” he said.

He urged the pupils to compile a list of their top five challenges and promised to assist them in tackling the top three.

The University of the Western Cape graduate, who serves on the board of trustees for the South African Aids Council, said his new show aimed to connect lay people with medical conditions that are often misunderstood, and to help people realise they are not alone.

Village Shrink premiers on channel 199 on February 29 at 8am.

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