Mental health and wellness
enabling South Africans to thrive

Mental Wellness Initiative

Mental Wellness Initiative (MWI) was founded in April 2020, in response to Covid-19’s impact on South Africa during the ‘first wave’ of the pandemic. Several organisations with unique and important skill sets came together in a truly collaborative spirit to understand how mental health was emerging as a crisis and threatening our developmental progress and how to act quickly in tackling this aspect of the pandemic.

One of the specific concerns that emerged was that front-line workers such as educators, health care professionals, NPO care and support workers in the field, reported high levels of burnout, compassion fatigue and vicarious traumatic exposure to Covid-19. MWI designed an intervention that would target leaders through building resilient leadership, healing, and resilience-building workshops for frontline workers in the development sector, while subsequently strengthening the sector through collaboration.

The founding members of the Mental Wellness Initiative include the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR), Ellipse Institute for Social Impact, the Centre for Mental Wellness and Leadership (CMWL), Camber Coaching, Dinaledi Coaching and thinklink. The work of MWI is directly linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 3, 4, 5 and 17: Good Health and Well-Being, Quality Education, Gender Equality and Partnerships for the Goals, respectively.

With collaboration and partnerships being a key principle of MWI, thinklink’s role in the initiative is to manage partnerships, build networks and raise capital to deliver on newly designed and critical interventions required. thinklink approached this task by leading a co-designed fundraising  process that guided the initiative on how and from whom funds will be sought, while the second element to this initiative was partnership-mapping and stakeholder engagement.

Through this effective process and a robust team effort, MWI secured its first grant for a 3-month pilot project, within MWI’s first 6 months of being established. The pilot was deemed a success, providing useful insights to the investor – and this has resulted in further investment over the next 3 years.

"thinklink is a bold and innovative solutions driven organisation. Headed up by Nishen Naicker, the team at thinklink consistently deliver excellence.

Our engagement with thinklink required the creation and implementation of a fundraising strategy and stakeholder engagement plan. thinklnk exceeded our conservative fundraising target by 100%, achieving double what we had planned to raise and doing so in half the time we had anticipated"
Tracey-Lee Kotzen, Chief Executive Officer, Mental Wellness Initiative

thinklink is excited to be part of this journey with MWI and we aim to engage in more conversations within the public, private and civil society sectors. This will help us to deliver on the mission of the organisation to deliver on the mission of the organisation and additionally make a meaningful impact on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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