South Africa: The Department of Sport, Arts, and Culture (DSAC) is pleased to announce that the Silapha Wellness Intervention Programme – which was initiated in 2022 to support artists and athletes with critical access to wellbeing support – will now provide more comprehensive support to meet critical needs.
The programme is run by Workforce Healthcare – a trusted industry provider of healthcare, training, wellness, financial services, and lifestyle benefits. It will provide access to a 24/7/365 call centre through which those in the creative and sporting industries can access counselling and platforms to receive information and education on key wellbeing matters such as mental health, substance abuse, financial wellbeing, legal guidance, and nutrition.
The Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Zizi Kodwa, says: “There is a critical need for those who engage in the creative and sporting fields – many of whom do not have permanent employment or healthcare support – for counselling services, education and community support around wellbeing matters that heavily impact them. We have lost too many valuable people within the creative and sports communities – as they did not have the support they needed. One life lost is one too many.”
While Silapha Wellness Intervention Programme has supported numerous artists and athletes, the department saw a strong need for the programme to provide a more comprehensive service and access to expert counselling services and rigorously monitor the programme’s success and impact.
The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture believes that the programme, which now offers expert counselling support as well as strong preventative support, will be a life-saving resource for our artists and athletes.
Workforce Healthcare spokesperson and Executive Director: of Wellness, Nevania Naidoo, says that the programme is live with counselling services and, over the next two months, will launch platforms and social media communities that will provide informative articles, videos, and live events as well as courses and self-assessment tools.
“There is a significant need for support around mental well-being, substance abuse, preventable illness, financial and legal advice, gender-based violence and discrimination, to name a few of the issues our artists and athletes need support with. The programme offers intervention and counselling but also education to ensure prevention.”
The service aims to develop a strong net of support and critical intervention to ensure that lives are not lost and that access to critical support is easily accessible and effective.
“Our artists and athletes are valuable members of our communities and are so often heroic in their ability to uplift and inspire others. At the same time, they are extremely vulnerable to life challenges due to the nature of their work. I hope that our creative and sporting community will make full use of this service and that those who face challenges receive the support and guidance they need to thrive,” concluded Minister Kodwa.