In a country where one-third of its total population is reported to have a mental illness (SADAG,2017), the need to make primary psychological services available in diverse settings in an attempt to promote and enhance psychological well-being of the public, is crucial. The role of facilitators of psychological services that are focused on prevention and primary intervention for psychological difficulties in diverse community context as well as the promotion of psychosocial health is vital if systemic interventions are meant to result in sustainable changes within communities.

Community Psychology

Mental health services in South Africa have reflected broader class, race, gender and urban/rural inequalities. In the past, provision and promotion of mental health services have been inadequate, inaccessible, inappropriate and discriminatory. Psychology has been pre-occupied in providing the kinds of service that serve and can only be afforded by a privileged minority.

The Johannesburg Institute of Social Services ( JISS) has responded, therefore,  to change the status quo through the provision of community-based psychology to the communities we serve. The Counselling and Trauma Unit works in conjunction with the Social Workers at JISS, providing a service that meets the systemic as well as the emotional and psychological needs of our clients.

What does the unit offer?

  • Provision of psychological and preventative interventions that focus on support and promote the enhancement of wellbeing in community contexts.
  • Counselling for individuals, families and groups.
  • Screening and identification of mental health challenges
  • Containment of presenting difficulties
  • Provision of preventative, developmental counselling services and interventions
  • Psycho-education and training
  • Promotion of primary psychosocial well being
  • Referral to appropriate professionals or other appropriate resources
  • Assessments (intellectual assessment, basic functioning, kinetic figure drawing)
  • Trauma containment (EMDR and TRE)

How to access services at JISS

Contact your Social Worker for a referral.

At the Johannesburg Institute of Social Services, we acknowledge that our mental health care professionals have a role to play as advocates for equality, non-discrimination, and justice. The lack of access to mental health care services is viewed by us as a human rights violation.


Zoya Naidoo

Counselling and Trauma Manager