The employment patterns of BPsych graduates in the Western Cape
Thesis (MA (Psychology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.
In order to make mental health care more accessible and even out the skewed distribution of services, policies were put in place to integrate mental health services into primary health care. For this to be effective, more trained mental health personnel needed to be employed in the public sphere as well as non-governmental and community organizations; and in state services. The BPsych degree which was instituted to meet this need has however, been plagued with controversy since its inception. This study aims to determine the employment patterns of BPsych graduates in the Western Cape so as to ascertain whether the expressed goals for establishing the degree, that is, addressing the need for primary mental health care workers, is in fact being met. Combinations of quantitative and qualitative methods were employed in this study. A self-constructed questionnaire was used for obtaining data. Quantitative data was analysed using SPSS and qualitative data was analysed by means of thematic content analysis. The quantitative data suggest that most of the respondents are employed and have completed the board exam. The majority of respondents are female and are employed within either community or NGO settings, or the private sector. Just over one third of respondents are employed as counsellors. A qualitative analysis of the data has suggested that the majority of employers are unaware of the category of registered counsellor. Respondents placed a large emphasis on the value of the practical component of the course. Based on the results obtained, one could argue that access to mental health care has not been significantly improved by the implementation of this category of registration.