Major learning experience

“As a psychology professional I hope that there will be an opportunity for me to work within the organization in future.”

I started working with SADAG KZN in July 2021, I was enrolled as a team leader for the Support Group Leaders Training Initiative for the period of July – December 2021.

I was requested to continue from January as I am currently unemployed. My job description involved liaising with KZN Health district Mental Health coordinators in recruiting support group leaders in KZN districts.

I was also involved in communicating with support group leaders in planning both virtual and in-person support group training. I assisted in organizing in-person training that took place in December 2021, where we able to host 9 out of 11 KZN districts. I was also working closely, step-by-step with support group leaders while they were establishing support groups in their respective districts.

I try and keep contact with all the leaders in ensuring a continuous support and making follow up on their progress as they are working on their support groups. I was also involved in working with first year Masters Students as they were a part of the project. I delegated and compiled Masters Students report on their work progress within this project.

I worked very well with the team that I was a part of, there was an incredible support whenever I needed it. The challenges that I encountered was the fact that the quality and completeness of my work was dependent on other people (such as support group leaders and masters students), this compromised my ability to meet deadlines. It was an enormous challenge to contact support group leaders or get required feedback from them. I felt like there was lack of urgency from support group leaders and master’s students. There was also a challenge of not having airtime or data to keep contact with support group leaders and students.

During my experience with SADAG KZN, I believe that I have networked with relevant people in the field of mental health, as I am an aspiring professional. I have strengthened my administrative, communication and writing skills. Working with SADAG KZN assisted me financially as I am an unemployed single mother.

As a psychology professional I hope that there will be an opportunity for me to work within the organization in future, where I will be able to render my services to assist people in the mental health field. I am also keen in working in a space, where I can be a part of educating and training team because I believe that there is so much that people can learn as far as mental health is concerned.

As a novice professional this was a major learning experience for me, I was exposed in working in a multidisciplinary team doing what I love while helping another person who might have gained something from participating in support group.