The Western Cape’s top health official has sounded the alarm about rising rates of mental illness in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, citing a steady increase in the number of people with acute psychotic and behavioural disorders arriving at hospital emergency centres in recent months.

“The entire mental healthcare system was under pressure before Covid-19. What you are seeing now is the impact of three waves [of infection] decreasing access to mental health services, and the rebound effect,” said Western Cape head of health Keith Cloete...

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