Dr Kobus van der Walt
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a psychiatrist?
How can we help you?
You should consider seeing a psychiatrist in the following circumstances:
- When you experience symptoms such as anxiety, sadness, or insomnia that is preventing you from functioning well in relationships and at work.
- When you have been diagnosed with a mental illness by a healthcare professional and want confirmation of the diagnosis and treatment.
- When you have been advised to be admitted to a hospital due to mental distress.
- When you have frequent thoughts of hopelessness, thoughts of death, and suicide.
- When you experience difficulty with your memory and concentration and struggle to cope with activities of daily living.
- When you have been exposed to significant trauma and struggle to make sense of it.
- When you have tried using non-medical means of treating a mental illness and have not responded well and continue to experience distress and impairment.
What can I expect?
On arrival for your first consultation our receptionist will ask you to complete a form with your personal information and medical and psychiatric history. The duration of the initial consultation with the psychiatrist is generally 90 minutes. In this consultation information will be gathered about your symptoms, past psychiatric and medical history, and significant life events. It may be useful to bring a summary of your health history, including previous illnesses, treatments, previous psychiatric medication prescribed and response to treatment, and previous hospital admissions. During this initial meeting the psychiatrist will make a tentative diagnosis and offer information about treatment options. The treatment plan will be based on shared decision-making, respecting your wishes and values.
The duration of subsequent consultations with the psychiatrist may be 15-60 minutes, depending on your needs. During these follow-up consultations the focus may be on ongoing assessment of your symptoms and recovery, assessment of your response to treatment, and addressing relevant factors that affect your mental health.
Red Cross/Tygerberg Poison Centre:
0861 555 777
Suicide Crisis Line
0800 567 567 or SMS 31393
SA Depression Group
0800 20 50 26
Destiny Helpline for Youth & Students
0800 456 789
SA Depression and Anxiety Group
0800 12 13 14 or SMS 32312 (24h)
SADAG Mental Health Crisis Line
011 234 4837
Information on Helderberg Clinic:
Patient care and health information resources:
Mental Health Disorder Treatment Guidelines and Consumer Guides
Mayo Clinic Patient Information:
National Responsible Gambling Programme:
Substance abuse treatment centres:
Alzheimer’s South Africa:
Dementia South Africa:
South African medicine price registry:
South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport:
Mental health resources
The Mental Health Information Centre of Southern Africa:
The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG):
The South African Federation for Mental Health:
The Mental Health Care Act:
Find a therapist:
Mondays – Thursdays: 8:00-17:00
Saturdays and Sundays: Closed