Cape Mental Health Society: Cape Town
Almost 10 percent of the population in the Western Cape Province - over 140 000 people - live with mental disabilities, which affect development and happiness, and cause conflict. Mental health is the key to the quality of life, the way we get along - in our families, at schools, at work, and at play.
The Cape Mental Health Society provides counseling, education and support services to people faced with mental illness, intellectual disability, and emotional problems. Its goal is to enhance and maximize the independence of children and adults with mental disabilities. Today, the organisation combines disability, community, and poverty alleviation in a strong business model.
Over ninety years old, Cape Mental Health is constantly challenge by keeping a balance between innovation and growth, on one hand, and organisational survival on the other. During the 1980s and until the mid-1990s, it enjoyed a high level of support form international funders; however there was a noticeable reduction after democratic elections, and the Cape Mental Health Society responded with a series of integrated local resource mobilization schemes.
The strategies are as multi-faceted as the organisation - including income generation, cost recovery, and local fundraising. For example, every year the organisation hosts the Cape Town International Kite Festival and an auction, held in April, to raise awareness of and funds for Cape Mental Health. In 2002, the festival brought in the equivalent of R1,472,641 worth of media services.
Through these local strategies, Cape Mental Health Society is generating 59% of its operating budget - R8,607,497 per year.