Brand new mental health facility opening in Richards Bay

Professional support available to strained residents and businesses to aid mental health

Wednesday, May 11 2022

The community of Richards Bay is soon to have access to a comprehensive private mental health service with the imminent opening of Netcare Akeso Richards Bay. The brand new specialised facility, the first of its kind on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast, is set to bring mental wellness closer to the people of the industrious city.

According to Zinhle Mbata, unit manager of Netcare Akeso Richards Bay, events over the past two years have resulted in an increased number of residents seeking mental healthcare. “The people of KwaZulu-Natal have experienced considerable difficulties in recent times, in addition to the already devastating impact of COVID-19 on South Africans.

“For residents and business owners in Richards Bay, which is an economic hub of our province, the financial knock-on effect from wave after wave of challenging circumstances has resulted in a very real toll on the mental health of our community. We are therefore pleased that we will be able to render much needed support to those in need of professional help,” she says.  

Mbata notes that the facility will offer treatment for mental health conditions ranging from anxiety, depression and bipolar mood disorders, among others. “We will also be reaching out to establish relationships with local businesses and employer groups to address the impact of burnout in the workplace, which is not only affecting the wellbeing of employees but also productivity levels and absenteeism rates across commerce and industry.

Pic: The new Netcare Akeso mental health facility is a welcoming and therapeutic environment, conveniently situated in the heart of Richards Bay on the eighth floor of the Netcare Richards Bay Medical Centre and directly opposite Netcare The Bay Hospital.
Pic: Zinhle Mbata, unit manager at Netcare Akeso Richards Bay.


Pic: The spacious dining area at the newly built Netcare Akeso Richards Bay facility.



“The well-established Netcare Akeso burnout management programme makes use of evidence based psycho emotional tools shown to be effective in building resilience and addressing common stressors identified over a wide range of work environments,” says Mbata.
Both inpatient and outpatient treatment and therapies will be offered at the new facility by a multidisciplinary team of psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists and a social worker as well as experienced mental health nurses, to best support the individual needs of each patient and their families.

“Furthermore,” says Mbata “the therapists operate under the aegis of the Centre for Psychotherapy Excellence (COPE), offering face to face individual, group and family therapy sessions to ensure the continuity of care on a patient’s evolving journey of mental wellness.”

Conveniently situated in the heart of Richards Bay, on the eighth floor of the Netcare Richards Bay Medical Centre and directly opposite Netcare The Bay Hospital, Netcare Akeso has created a welcoming and therapeutic environment, with a breathtaking 180 degree view of the bay.

“A tranquil patient rooftop garden balcony provides a safe outdoor space while the inhouse gym allows patients to maintain physical fitness. We also have a quiet room for meditation and silent contemplation. We encourage our patients to engage with the healing properties of nature and make planned weekly visits to the beach with inpatients for just this purpose.

“Netcare Akeso Richards Bay has been specifically designed to instil a sense of peace in those who seek our help and to act as a blank canvas, allowing patients to visualise themselves beyond where they currently find themselves, while they go through a therapeutic based healing process.

Mbata says that the facility plans to expand its service offering in response to the needs of the community over time and will be conducting outreach sessions through corporate wellness events in the area as well as awareness days at local learning institutions to assess the need for mental healthcare among the city’s young adults.

“The people of this city are strong and have withstood a great deal in recent times, but it is also important for us all to be aware that it’s okay not to be okay. At Netcare Akeso Richards Bay we will provide a safe and supportive space, with treatment offered by healthcare professionals who can understand the struggles of the community.

“We are pleased to be providing access to the highest level of mental health and care right here in Richards Bay, so that those who live and work in the area and who are seeking help do not have far to go. We look forward to making a meaningful impact here and assisting our fellow residents in making their mental wellbeing a priority,” concludes Mbata.


About Netcare Akeso
Netcare Akeso operates a network of private in-patient mental health facilities and is part of the Netcare Group. Netcare Akeso provides individual, integrated and family-oriented treatment in specialised in-patient treatment facilities, as well as certain outpatient services, for a range of psychiatric, psychological and substance use conditions. Please visit or contact [email protected] for further information. The COPE Therapy website also contains many useful blog posts on various issues and tips relating to mental health.
In the event of a psychological crisis, call 0861 435 787, 24 hours a day for emergency support. Psychiatrist consultations can be made through Netcare appointmed™, online at or by calling 0861 555 565. Outpatient psychologist and occupational therapist consultations can be booked via
For more information on this media release, contact MNA at the contact details listed below.

Issued by:            MNA on behalf of Netcare Akeso Richards Bay
Contact:    Martina Nicholson, Meggan Saville, Estene Lotriet-Vorster and Clementine Forsthofer
Telephone:    (011) 469 3016
Email:    [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] [email protected] or [email protected]