oa Journal of Psychology in Africa - Psychological services in the black community of Port Elizabeth in South Africa: assessment of awareness, attitudes, practices and needs

Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1433-0237



An interview-based survey was conducted to assess the awareness, attitudes, practices and needs with regards to psychological services among 256 randomly-chosen adult respondents from Black suburbs and townships in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The survey revealed that less than half of the respondents were aware of psychology. Those who were aware had a fair amount of knowledge about the discipline. Their attitudes towards psychologists and their profession was positive as they had future intent to use or to recommend to others to use Psychological services should the need arise. However, the actual use of psychological services by the respondents themselves or their relatives was very low. With regards to needs, the main problems identified by the respondents as those for which they required some psychological help were coping with death in the family, suicide wishes, divorce/separation/marital problems and child abuse. In addition, the respondents also expressed the need for the introduction of community-based psychological services and the marketing of such services to the community. The implications of these results for improving access to psychological services by Black people particularly in South Africa are discussed.

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