Social Work Academic Elected as Cape Mental Health Vice-President
Social Work lecturer, Professor Johannes John-Langba, has been elected Vice-President of Cape Mental Health (CMH), the oldest community-based mental health organisation in South Africa.
CMH promotes mental health and the organisation’s various programmes and projects that help people to adjust to their disability, adapt to family and community life, and acquire coping skills they need to achieve their greatest level of independence.
‘This election means a lot to me personally and as a social worker, academic and mental health services researcher. I believe it is in recognition of my contribution to CMH as a board member and mental health ambassador and for my contribution to mental health promotion on the African continent for over a decade,’ said John-Langba, who was elected during the organisation’s 105th Annual General Meeting.
John-Langba got involved in CMH because of his interest in the psychosocial wellbeing of poor and vulnerable individuals, families and communities. As Vice-President, he will provide technical and strategic leadership to the organisation’s Executive Director and board of directors of CMH as well as deputising and supporting the president of the organisation.
‘My role as Vice-President and Mental Health Ambassador of CMH dovetails perfectly into my position as the Academic Leader of the Discipline of Social Work in the School of Applied Human Sciences at UKZN. It aligns with the mission of the School to promote citizenship education, innovative research and social work practice excellence in South Africa in pursuit of enhanced psychosocial functioning and development of individuals, families, groups, organisations and communities in order to ensure peace, human rights, social justice and equality of all people at local, regional, national and international levels,’ he said.
John-Langba holds a PhD (Social Work) and Master of Public Health (Behavioural and Community Health) degree from the University of Pittsburgh (United States) as well as a Master of Social Work degree from Howard University (United States). He is also the recipient of several fellowships and awards.
John-Langba was recently an Erasmus Mundus Visiting Scholar at the International Institute of Social Studies at Erasmus University in the Netherlands. His research interests include mental health service provision and the psychosocial determinants of health and disease.
Words: Melissa Mungroo
Photograph: Nkululeko Walter Mbatha