The Story (History) and Structure of Ebenezer Psychiatric Home
Ebenezer Psychiatric Home is a non-profit organization that takes care of mentally ill adults.
Ebenezer Psychiatric Home was founded by Charmaine Hennings under the guidance of Dr. H.E. Haynes in March 2005. It was established as a residential home for people suffering from Bipolar and Schizophrenia. A year later a second home was opened due to the huge demand for residential facilities for psychiatric adults.
Our homes are adjacent to one another in Ham Street, Witpoortjie, Gauteng, South Africa and the home consists of 23 permanent residents who live independently. The homes are located on two big stands with 2 big houses and a very large flatlet. There is plenty of space and lovely gardens. The homes have a loving and homely atmosphere. We are situated in a residential area among the community of Witpoortjie.
Ebenezer House is currently receiving a monthly subsidy from the Department of Health and will be assisting the Department of Health in their efforts to move from custodian care to residential facilities. We also work in tandem with the complementary services provided at the Discoverers Clinic and various psychiatric hospitals. We are registered and licensed with the Department of Health.
We are here to primarily help severe psychiatric adults diagnosed with Bipolar or schizophrenia who were previously institutionalized to feel worthy and help them deal with their illness. We also assist our residents to re-enter the work place if they feel ready to do so.
Most people suffering from Bipolar and Schizophrenia have been abandoned by their families and friends. The reason is simple, they lack the knowledge and understanding of the sheer magnitude of change the individual undergoes.
WHAT DOES EBENEZER HOUSE OFFER:
At Ebenezer Psychiatric Home we take interest in all our residents and offer various workshops which have to be attended by all as this contributes to the well being, growth and development of our residents.
• We have 2 Houses and One Flatlet.
• There are sharing rooms and single rooms.
• Each house is equipped will a beautiful lounge and TV with DSTV all residents have access to any lounge to watch TV or entertain guests.
• The main kitchen and dinning area is situated in House number 7 there is however another kitchen in House number 5.
• Residents are allowed to make there own food after hours as long as they clean up after themselves.
Life at Ebenezer House:
Ebenezer House is an individual living facility; our residents are high functioning individuals. We are a small home and are more like a family; we love each other dearly and take care of our own. “No one understands someone with Bipolar or schizophrenia like someone with Bipolar and schizophrenia”, and we live by that. Life at Ebenezer is divided into activities that actively involve each resident on an individual level. Each resident is required to participate in the running of the home and to participate in the daily programme. At Ebenezer the day starts at 7:30am and finishes at 3:30pm (Monday to Thursday) on Friday the day finishes at 1pm. After 3:30pm and on weekends and evenings are leisure times for residents.
A day in the life of an Ebenezer resident:
• Wake up Shake up
• Outside speaker/therapist/community worker
• Tea Break
• Leisure Time
The Various Workshops we offer are:
• Art Therapy
• Candle Making
• Fabric Painting
• Jewelry Making
• Creative writing
• Embroidery / Sewing / Knitting
• Card Making
• Healthy Cooking
• Assisting with the preparation of meals
• Growing a Herb and/or Vegetable Garden
• Maintaining our beautiful Garden
• Watching motivational DVD’s
• Meditation Facilitation
• Crisis intervention
• Community Integration Self-care management
• Environmental care
• Social Skills training
• Coping Skills
• Anger Management
• Community and Personal Skills
• Memory Simulation
• Discussions regarding medication; Bipolar; Schizophrenia; and various other subjects that involve the residents on a more personal level
• Music Therapy
• Sessions with the Occupational Therapist from Discoverers Clinic
• Individual Therapy when needed.
• Monthly sessions with a volunteer Psychiatrist who visits the home
Sessions with various outside experts in their fields on:
• Charcoal drawing
• Self portraits
• First aid
• Motivation Speakers – Various Motivational Discussion Topics
• Problem Solving Workshops
We feel that our residents need to come to terms with their illness and how to cope with them in modern society, and as such we make an effort to encourage them to take on certain duties to motivate and encourage them to move into modern society with confidence. This is achieved by arming them with the knowledge and skills learned to survive.
Other Interesting Activities:
• Regular daily walks around the area
• Gyming – we have a fully equipped gym
• Sports: volley ball, soccer, cricket, etc
• Various board games/Darts/Pool/30 Seconds/Dominos/Cards, etc
• Sing-a-long evenings around the Boma with family & the community
• Visits to Rhino & Lion Park
• Various events
• Bird Park at Silverstar Casino
• Visit to Hia Safari Lodge
• Visit to Snake Park
• Special Xmas Lunch at a “SURPRISE” venue
• Resident Christmas Eve Dinner – Put together by the residents who remain at Ebenezer over Christmas/New Year period.
The continual rise in costs mainly due to the petrol price increases is making it very difficult to budget for basic food commodities such as bread, butter, milk, etc. Also affected are amenity costs like water and lights, telephone and the basic overheads needed to sustain the home.
As the high cost of living keeps creeping up, we have to find alternative ways to raise funds to sustain Ebenezer’s homes. Our fundraiser designed “The Bell of Hope”; the worldwide symbol for mental health is a bell.