Johannesburg resident Kendra Neethling is inspired to help people with substance abuse issues reclaim their lives.
The St Stithians Girls College matriculant and University of Cape Town Honours student (BSC Occupational Therapy) says she has a huge passion for psychiatry and finds addiction ‘exceptionally complex and multifaceted’.
The new occupational therapist at Rand Aid’s Wedge Gardens treatment centre in Whitney Gardens, Kendra says substance abuse influences many areas of a person’s life.
“As such, occupational therapy (OT) is pivotal in any intervention, providing key skills and resources to help the person prepare to retake their place in society, and bringing meaningful, healthy and satisfying engagement back into their lives.
“Wedge’s OT department will this year focus on the mastery of skills. Plans include a garden project (to promote the healthy use of leisure time, mindfulness skills, industry and initiative and prevocational skills) and the continuation of the Wedge Café (social skills, prevocational and management skills and survival skills).”
She says they hope to expand the Wedge Café offering from predominantly food-based products to handmade items.
“Activities that promote deinstitutionalisation, such as treasure hunts, braais and picnics, will also be hosted, to help ensure a smooth transition back into society.”