chapter  8
12 Pages

Religion, race and mental health: the scientific evidence

WithALISON GRAY, JOHN COX

This chapter explores the problematic nature of race and culture in South Africa using the work of Suman Fernando as a tool of analysis. It presents the history of psychiatry in South Africa, and demonstrates how racism was perpetuated through the different stages that this mental health discipline went through. The chapter illustrates how the colonial ideology of apartheid has negatively affected the provision of mental health services in South Africa. It shows how democratic South Africa has attempted to deal with the legacy of apartheid to address the mental health needs of all the people in the country. The chapter examines the role of culture in the training of mental health workers, including the associated challenges. It describes the potential contributions that Suman Fernando's work could make in deepening our understanding of the theory and practice of psychiatry in South Africa.