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Prof. Renata Schoeman – Psychiatrist, Board member & Healthcare lead at the University of Stellenbosch Business School

This week on Womanity-Women in Unity Dr. Amaleya Goneos-Malka talks to Professor Renata Schoeman, who is in private practice as a general psychiatrist, heads up the healthcare leadership MBA specialisation stream at the University of Stellenbosch Business School, serves on advisory boards for several companies and has been appointed to the Ministerial Advisory Board for Mental Health. According to the WHO (2019), globally one in every eight people live with a mental disorder. We note that anxiety and mood disorders are commonly experienced by women presenting for psychiatric and psychological support, sometimes this stems from female biology and hormonal fluctuations. Prof. Schoeman remarks that ADHD is sometimes missed as a condition experienced by girls, and the negative consequence is that these individuals often never realise their full potential. Prof. Schoeman founded the Goldilocks and the Bear Foundation a non-profit organisation which offers free ADHD and mental health screening and early intervention services in underprivileged communities.

In a world that never stops it is challenging to find balance. Prof. Schoeman explains that work-life balance is not necessarily a 50:50 scenario, but time must be carved into schedules for one to energise oneself. Some of the seeds of self-care include: sufficient sleep, exercise, good nutrition, spirituality, mental stimulation and socialising. Prof. Schoeman has a simple motto to help sort elements that drain and those that fuel you – “If something does not bring joy, beauty or usefulness – get rid of it!”

We discuss some of the discriminatory issues women experience in the workplace and emphasise that women need to retain their authenticity and embrace their differences as points of strength. Women must not allow the “sticky floor of lingering beliefs that they have of themselves and society to hold them back. Prof. Schoeman reminds us to make the most of every moment in life, to do our best and never stop learning. Tune in for more…

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