Leaders in healthcare

The clinic was officially opened for business on September 20. 2004. with the aim of rendering quality services to private sector patients in need of mental health care. Today, it is one of the country’s foremost specialist psychiatric facilities, with over 50 full-time staff members including psychiatrists. psychologists, general practitioners, social workers and occupational therapists, providing holistic treatment for disorders ranging from depression, anxiety and bi-polar mood disorder, to substance abuse, eating disorders and more general adult and teenage disorders.

Akeso Crescent Clinic offers a full in-patient and out-patient service, and plays host to a variety of specialists who operate private practices from the premises, including psychiatrists. psychologists and even a neurologist who focuses on sleep studies and electroencephaloraphy (EEG’s). It also hosts regular AA and NA support meetings, as well as offering support groups for SADAG (South African Depression and Anxiety Group) and MATRIX MEN, for victims of sexual abuse. The clinic’s latest addition to its broad-based programme focuses on addiction in adolescents.

According to hospital manager, Fanie Smuts, it is the chic’s highly specialised, multi-disciplinary team of professionals that gives the clinic its edge, allowing patients to receive the benefits of a bespoke treatment plan that is not only specific to each individual patient, but also enables them to take advantage of a wide variety of on-site specialists and services.

“At Akeso Crescent Clinic, we take great pride in treating each patient as an individual with unique needs. Every patient admitted into the clinic is assigned both a psychiatrist and a psychologist, who together assess the patient and then refer him or her to a programme treatment stream that is best suited to their specific symptoms,” he explains.

This treatment strategy is called COPE, otherwise known as the Centre for Psychotherapy Excellence, and it essentially ensures that each patient is treated by a multidisciplinary programme that includes psychotherapy, occupational therapy, educational assistance, as well as exercise, relaxation and support groups.

“Akeso Crescent Clinic is a bit like an emotional ER,” says Smuts. “Most of the patients admitted into our facilities are in crisis. Our aim is not only to alleviate the immediate crisis, but also to allow patients the opportunity to change the direction of their lives and to gain new momentum. We do this firstly by providing a containing ‘safety net’ to contain the free fall that the patient’s symptoms have created. We then assess and manage so that the downward momentum is arrested. Finally, we refer the patient into a stream of process-driven therapy that will help generate an upward momentum towards recovery and health.”

Smuts adds that another aspect unique to Akeso Clinics is the respect that is afforded not only the patient, but also his or her family, on the understanding that most patients need the support and involvement of that families in order to find and remain on the path to mental heath.

“Above all, we seek to provide a safe and comforting place that encourages both understanding and healing,” Fame Smuts, hospital manager.

Smuts believes that this approach is key to the on-going success of Crescent Clinic, and has no doubt that it is one of the primary reasons why Akeso Clinics will continue to lead the way in the provision of private mental health care in the years to come.

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