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Mental Healthcare For Adolescents

The adolescent units at Helderberg Clinic and Tijger Clinic work with young people, aged 12 to 18 years to build coping skills, confidence and improve relationships with those close to them. Their specialist care promotes positive mental health and wellbeing for young people, helping them to overcome their most challenging times to lead a positive and productive future.

Being admitted to a hospital like Helderberg Clinic or Tijger Clinic could be a life-changing opportunity for personal growth for adolescents and their families. This article will explain the roles of the multi-professional treatment team and give you an idea of what to expect while participating in the programme.





The Psychiatrist is the team leader and doctor who will admit and diagnose the adolescent, as well as prescribe the necessary medication.



A Psychologist with a special interest in adolescent care will be involved or could be appointed. The psychologist will meet with the adolescent for therapy and focus on all areas of the adolescent’s struggle.


Occupational Therapist

The adolescent will also engage with the Occupational Therapist (OT) in a group. The OT will focus on transferring and applying life skills and coping skills in all aspects of their daily life, such as home, school, social and emotional matters. The OT also runs Arts & Craft groups where the adolescents can explore their creativity, learning new skills and improve how they feel and think about themselves.


Social Worker

Additionally, a social worker will contact the parent/s, adolescent, and school for practical and emotional structure and support.



The nursing team is available 24 hours a day to support and assist in all personal needs and care and establish a healthy routine.


School Teacher

At Tijger Clinic, a school teacher conducts homework sessions twice a week to assist adolescents with school tasks. When required by the school, the teacher can assist with exams within the facility.


Therapy With Horses

Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is a treatment that includes activities with horses in an equine (horse) environment. Every second week on a Friday afternoon, adolescents are transported to an equestrian venue in Paarl to attend EAP with resounding positive reactions. No horseriding is involved, and only in-hand groundwork is used to ground the adolescent’s own emotional state.

The benefits of EAP include:

  • Building confidence and trust
  • Overcoming fears
  • Setting boundaries
  • Learning to accept responsibility
  • Discovering the simple joys in life


Music & Movement 

A group session takes place twice a week where the adolescent participates in music and movement therapy.



Daily scheduled training sessions are available in the gym with basic equipment.


Social Activities

  • Movie nights
  • Boardgames
  • Xbox games
  • Family Cinema TV
  • Twice-a-month outings
  • Other activities to improve socialisation skills


For optimal healing, it is vital to have a safe environment where all information is treated confidentially. All professionals directly involved in the adolescent’s care will be coordinating their input to ensure an integrated outcome in the best interests of the adolescent. All group therapy runs from Monday to Saturday.





  • En suite bedrooms
  • Selected DSTV-channels & My Family Cinema
  • Lockup cupboards
  • Airconditioning in all areas
  • Gym equipment



  • Authorisation number
  • ID Document: patient & main member
  • Medical aid card
  • Casualwear
  • Sleepwear
  • Gymwear (optional)
  • Toiletries
  • All current medication (chronic, physical and psychiatric) in original packaging




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