Vangeli Dlamini recently joined the CSDA team to gain valuable work experience. She is a participant in the Youth Employment Service (YES) programme and this is an exciting opportunity for her to gain experience in the academic space.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Johannesburg.
Vangeli studied psychology because she has a passion for mental health, especially among South Africans and Africans. She says “I’ve always felt that people of colour (Africans) with mental health problems are overlooked and are not taken seriously. In grade 11 and matric I suffered from anxiety, and I was always afraid of what my family and friends would say when I told them I was seeking professional help.”
This is what pushed Vangeli into psychology, for children like her, to end the taboo around mental illness and to bring awareness to the challenges many young people face. Her future ambitions are to become a clinical psychologist and to work within black communities to bring about this awareness as part of social development. “I feel that if people had a better understanding of their mental state, a lot of things would be different in the communities,” she says. Vangeli hopes to learn a lot at the CSDA – how to do research effectively, and the administration that is associated with research such as transcribing, quality control and so forth.