Mental Health and its Interplays with Systemic Conditions


By Temwani Nyama

This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 11 of VARSITY News.


Trigger Warning: The article below discusses experiences of difficulties with mental health regulation and their projection through the contour of suicide and suicide ideation, and even though the discussions of these experiences are peripheral and don’t employ lurid details, the content of this article may be deeply sensitive for some people because of the personal experiences they might indirectly incite.



With the month of September being commemorated as Suicide Prevention Month, and the recent passing of World Suicide Prevention Day on the 10th of September, we have learnt quite a bit about how the augmented matrices of hegemony and the societal control thereof ensue (to some degree) our personal challenges with mental welfare regulation.



Our experiences with societal and institutional violence, in any respect, exist not only as instances but also as continuous psycho-emotive conditions. Because of these differential contours, by which the disruption of hegemony and societal control can appear, we can start to conceptualise how substantial those experiences are in terms of the degrees of disruption they ensue – especially when they are internalised.



However, solely conceptualising and tracking the metrics of violence isn’t relevant to anyone. Instead, when we inversely read these conditions, they expand the validity and relevance we appropriate to notions for resource accessibility and safe spaces. It also helps in expanding the ways we imagine the methods we use in reconciling the regulators of personal mental wellbeing. By doing so, the recourse offered to our experiences of violence shifts from personal and individual responses to more system(at)ic responses. And so, what this means is that:



Housing security and the general mass resolve to houselessness is suicide prevention.



The mitigation of sexual and gender-based violence directed to individuals with differential orientations of their embodiment is suicide prevention.



Resolves to the economic precariousness of systemically dispossessed communities is suicide prevention.



The mitigation of socio-corporate marginalism directed towards migrants is suicide prevention.



Accessible and pluralistic healthcare service is suicide prevention.



The mitigation of institutions of societal regulation through policing is suicide prevention.



Generally, the undoing of systemic matrices of hegemony and control is one of the ways we can realise substantive recourse to the psycho-emotive disruptions we experience. And it is the narratives that come out of commemorations like Suicide Prevention Month and World Suicide Prevention Day that have helped us in seeing this.



*Additionally, listed below are some resources for accessing substantive mental health help and support or just for accessing auto-didactic learning materials on these experiences:




This section of VARSITY is a vehicle for expression on any topic by members of the UCT community. The opinions within this section are not necessarily those of the VARSITY collective or its advertisers.


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