Health Psychology Division (HPD)
The aims of the Division of Health Psychology:
In addition to the objectives of PsySSA and the functions of divisions as expressed in Articles 2 and 13 respectively of the PsySSA constitution, the mission of the Health Psychology Division is to create a community of psychologists who are interested in advancing the field of Health Psychology in South Africa. The goals derived from this mission are to be achieved in cooperation with other PsySSA structures, other professional organisations, the general public, and governmental organisations.
What do members receive by becoming members?
- Exposure to the field of Health Psychology
- Access to our regular updates, newsletters and podcasts
- Networking opportunities
- Attend events for CPD points
- Become part of our Health Psychology researcher database
- Platform to interact with peers and scholars active in the field of Health Psychology
- Opportunities to share your Health Psychology experience with our community
Registered Counsellor & Psychometrist
Dr. Rizwana Roomaney
Prof. Elmarí Deacon
Dr. Sonja Mostert
Dr. Wylene Saal
In this episode, we speak to Professor Lou-Mariè Kruger, a clinical psychologist, and lecturer at Stellenbosch University, about obstetric violence within the South African healthcare system.
In this podcast, we speak to Dr Nicole Miriam Daniels, a postdoctoral fellow jointly hosted at the Centre of Excellence in Human Development at the University of the Witwatersrand and in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cape Town. She is also a maternal health expert at Percept, which is a transdisciplinary consultancy.
In this episode we speak to qualitative research specialist Dr Zoe Duby about the interaction between mental health, and sexual and reproductive health. Dr Duby describes how mental health narratives turned out to be a prominent feature in a study she was involved in that initially aimed to explore sexual and reproductive health outcomes among young South African women and girls, and how the interconnected and bidirectional nature of these realms of health was made clear: Participants' mental health both influenced, and was influenced by, negative sexual and reproductive health outcomes such as HIV diagnosis and early / ‘unintended’ pregnancy. We also look at why this topic is particularly pertinent among adolescent girls and young women in South Africa, and some of the recommendations Dr Duby and her research team propose based on their findings.
In this podcast we speak with Collins Ndlovhu of Waterfall, Midrand about his experience living with type 2 diabetes. Collins discusses the fear and stigma associated with the condition, as well as the concerning lack of information and education he has encountered in the healthcare system. We also explore the social, psychological, and economic toll of the condition, and some of the ways Collins is able to manage these difficulties.
In this episode we speak with Dr Marlise Richter and Constance Mathe of Sex Worker Education & Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) about the health of sex workers in South Africa and other sub-Saharan countries. They discuss the legal context of sex work in SA and the discrimination sex workers face, as well as the numerous barriers encountered when accessing healthcare. We then go on to consider the possible effects these issues may have on sex workers’ physical and mental health, as well as the effects this may have on broader society. Lastly, Marlise and Constance explore the possibility of decriminalisation of sex work, as well as other interventions which show promise in reducing the negative outcomes experienced by such individuals.
In this podcast, we speak to Dr Claire Warden, a colorectal surgeon at Groote Schuur Hospital and UCT Private Academic Hospital. Dr Warden trained at UCT and various colorectal units in England . Dr Warden discusses the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer and the difficulty people experience discussing bowel habits. In addition, Dr Warden discusses the effects of this diagnosis on the well-being of these patients and the adjustments that patients may make within their lives.
In this podcast, we speak to Lynn Hendricks, a practicing research psychologist, epidemiologist and an executive member of the Psychological Society of South Africa. In this podcast, Lynn discusses her experience with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. She discusses the events that led up to her diagnosis, the treatment plan she had to follow and the impact that treatment has had on her physical and psychological health and well-being. In addition to this, Lynn discusses the complexities of this disease and the coping strategies that she employs to prevent flare ups. Lastly, Lynn discusses the importance of supportive networks, the lessons she has learnt about herself and the importance and usefulness of increasing her knowledge of this disease.
In this podcast, we speak to Zara Schroeder, a Cape Town researcher and communication coordinator, about their experience living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). We discuss the influential role of stress and anxiety in the development of the disorder and activation of its symptoms, and its intrinsic link to mental health and psychological factors more broadly. Lastly, Zara speaks to the stigma and shame surrounding IBS and other digestive disorders, and how we might go about remedying it.
In this podcast, we speak to Professor Sean Chetty, Associate Professor and Executive Head of the Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care at Stellenbosch University. In this podcast, Prof Sean Chetty discusses the complexities of defining chronic pain and describes important considerations that are taken into account when evaluating pain experienced by individuals. In addition, he discusses the novelty with which individuals experience pain and the lack of resources available to treat chronic pain patients in South Africa. Prof Chetty goes on to discuss how chronic pain can affect the health and well-being of these patients as well as potential coping strategies that may aid in pain management. Furthermore, he discusses potential strategies that can and are currently being utilised to increase awareness and advocacy for those who experience chronic pain in South Africa. Lastly, Prof Chetty discusses how the Covid-19 pandemic affected the treatment and management of chronic pain in South Africa .
In this episode we speak to Dr Kerry-Ann Louw, senior lecturer at Stellenbosch university and head of the adult psychiatry clinical unit at Tygerberg hospital, about chronic pain and our misguided separation of the “psychological” from the “physical”. Dr Louw discusses the misconceptions surrounding chronic pain, the complexities in diagnosing and treating it, and the ways in which this is evolving during COVID-19 and beyond. She goes on to describe the powerful role of psychological factors in determining and managing chronic pain, and the profound effect such pain may have on the wellbeing of those who experience it.