Meet our Facilitator & Panellists!
Mr Suntosh Pillay – Facilitator
Suntosh R. Pillay is a clinical psychologist at King Dinuzulu Hospital Complex, in Durban, where he has run individual and group psychotherapy services for over ten years. He is affiliated to the College of Health Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and is involved in a diverse range of academic projects related to psychosocial health, using a critical, decolonial, and community psychology lens. He is a researcher in the African LGBTI+ Human Rights Project and serves on the Council of the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA). In 2015, he co-founded the KwaZulu-Natal Mental Health Advocacy Group, an open and collaborative space that continues to host an annual symposium, free community forums, and an anti-stigma awareness walk in the province. He is on Twitter @suntoshpillay.
Ms Cassey Chambers – Operations Director, SADAG
Cassey started at The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) as a volunteer telephone counsellor in the call center helping to man the Suicide Crisis Helpline over 15 years ago. Later she ran the Call Center and Press, and currently is Operations Director and Board Member. Cassey represents SADAG at national and international conferences, various press and media interviews, workshops and advocacy projects to help fight for patients’ rights and destigmatize mental health across the country. Focusing on various projects including Teen Suicide Prevention School Programme, Rural Outreach Projects, Support Groups, Responsible Reporting initiatives with press and media, Mental Health in the Workplace and recent advocacy projects including the Life Esidimeni crisis and Medical Aids.
Ms Glynis Horning – Freelance Writer
Glynis Horning is an award-winning freelance writer whose assignments have taken her from the townships of apartheid South Africa to the Rwandan refugee camps in Zaire, from the Amazon jungle to ice floes in Patagonia. Horning is the recipient of the Discovery Health Journalism Award for Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing, the Pfizer Mental Health Journalism Award and a Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism. She was Galliova Health Writer of the Year in 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021. Nothing could have prepared her for the loss of her son at 25. She lives in Durban with her husband Chris and son Ewan.
Mx Saya Pierce-Jones – Journalist
Saya Pierce-Jones is an award-winning Cape Town based journalist, a queer activist and environmental campaigner. Her passion is in social justice, ending period poverty and promoting sexual and mental health awareness for all South Africans. Following nearly a decade of covering some of the most gruesome incidents of crime, sexual abuse, oppression and failures within government entitites, she has now also become a law student and hopes to one day practice in the field of social justice. Personally, she is also a survivor of GBV and has been diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety, and is a survivor of suicidal ideation/experimentation. Saya believes in honest discourse around these issues, so as to address the shortfalls, end the stigma and promote access to life-saving health care
Dr Sebo Seape – SASOP President
Dr Seape is the first Female Black Psychiatrist in South Africa, she is currently in Private Practice in Johannesburg (Parktown), with nearly 30 years of experience; and in that time,
she has had significant contributions in the increase in mental health awareness and comprehension in both marginalised communities and the private sector. She has a passion for community education and raising cognizance surrounding mental health issues and has been an enabler of the growth observed in Soweto Private clinics; wherein hospital beds grew from accommodating 18 to 50 patients. She has also been involved in various media platforms including Media Talks, and engagements with the government and the Council of Medical Schemes; to improve the structuring of health services and benefits. She was appointed as the first Psychiatrist at Tshepo Themba Private Clinic. She is the past chair of the Psychiatry Management Group and president of the South African Society of Psychiatry (SASOP).