Tshegofatso Pearl Ramatsetse is a young researcher with a passion for tackling mental health issues among young people and thanks to the Prof Tessa Hochfeld Memorial Bursary she is one step closer to starting a career that will focus on tackling mental health challenges at a policy level.
“During my studies I discovered that there is a lack of policy in mental health. I’m interested in mental health, due to my personal experiences and how things are in South Africa at the moment, especially among the youth population.”
She believes the best way to tackle the issue is through systemic change and she dreams of working in the Department of Social Development so she can use her skills to make a practical difference.
The 25-year old student was keen to continue her studies after completing her BA in Psychology and her Honours in Communication Theory but financial concerns were holding her back.
But now as the recipient of the Prof Tessa Hochfeld Memorial Bursary she is able to continue her studies and she enrolled in the MPhil in Social Policy and Development through the CSDA.
“We are delighted that Tshegofatso is the first recipient of this bursary. Tessa was a gifted researcher with a commitment to creating meaningful change in society. We are very happy that her legacy will live on through young researchers like Tshegofatso,” says Associate Professor and CSDA Director, Lauren Graham.
Tshegofatso is interested in inequalities within the gender landscape and what can be done to address these inequalities. It is this interest that has influenced her research topic.
“I want to focus on how young people respond to mental health challenges and how these can be addressed through policy making,” she explains.
Her research will focus on how young women respond to absent fathers and if there are links to depression and mental health issues for these women.
“I was very excited when I heard that I had received the bursary. I didn’t believe it, I was thrilled and I had some weight lifted off my shoulders,” she says.
Tshegofatso is inspired by Prof Tessa Hochfeld’s work and her interest in gender and social justice, “I noticed that she worked in social welfare and gender justice and I believe her approach will help me in structuring my research,” she says.
To learn more about the Tessa Hochfeld Memorial Bursary click here