South Africa has been going through a transformation process and mental health is no exception. As this process of transformation unfolds, the psychological service rendering is being redressed following the criticism on the previous mental health care system. Psychological services were only available in the white suburban areas, therefore they were not meeting the needs of the majority of South Africans. In the new political dispensation there is a demand for more psychological services to be made available to the historically disadvantaged communities. There is a need to explore the knowledge about and attitudes towards psychological services by black communities in rural areas. The study is aimed at exploring these aspects, as it is essential in establishing appropriate community-based psychological services rendering. In-depth interviews were carried out on a randomly selected sample of 10 participants from a rural village in Hebron. The study indicated that there was a reasonable knowledge about psychological services. The main sources of knowledge possessed by the people are mainly from the media, studying psychology and having had an exposure to the psychologists previously. The attitude towards psychological services depends on whether the people personally or their loved ones had a positive experience with a psychologist. Educational level was found to be playing a major role, as people with higher level of education had positive attitude towards psychological services. The level of the actual use of psychological services was very low due to lack of such services in the area. The participants expressed the needs for the psychologists to work in collaboration with the communities. There was a need for the psychological services to be made available in the community and that there should be awareness talks regarding these services. The results and implications are discussed and there are suggestions for research.
Dissertation (MA (Clinical Psychology))--University of Pretoria, 2006.