Anusha Lachman and the Tygerberg Children’s Hospital Trust receives Stavros Niarchos Foundation grant to create a holistic healing environment in the Adolescent Psychiatry Unit

Dr. Anusha Lachman, head of the Adolescent Psychiatry Unit at Tygerberg Hospital and senior lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry, Stellenbosch University, together with the Tygerberg Hospital Children’s Trust (THCT), a non-profit organization patronaged by The Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, received a R3.4 million grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s (SNF) Global Health Initiative for their proposal to “create an adolescent-friendly mental health service in a low resourced limited state sector setting” over the next 2 years. 


Dr. Anusha Lachman (left) and THCT colleague (right) attended the SNF Nostos 2023 conference in Athens Greece where they received the award.


To accomplish this, Dr. Lachman and colleagues at the THCT proposed enhancements within the unit that would facilitate a healing space that is more holistic and adolescent-sensitive without requiring any major structural changes. To achieve this, they proposed aesthetic environmental changes externally: green spaces outside with safe and simple exercise spaces, healing gardens, and the installation of an astroturf. Internally, to upgrade the space by re-painting the unit and including furnishings for the common reading and day room, such as stimulating games, murals, art, books, and activities. In addition, to create safe and humane seclusion and hygiene facilities and adolescent de-escalation spaces with low sensory support and safe corners. They also proposed offering programs like art, drama, and music.


The overall goal of this pilot project is to serve as a model in Africa for how other services in similar public sector environments, where there is no option for structural changes and additional human resources, can enhance their facilities to create a more holistic healing experience.


Read the SNF press release here.