Elizabeth (Elza)

  • Addiction Expert for South Africa,
  • GMHPN (Global Mental Health Peer Network)
  • Cape Town,
  • South Africa
In programme
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Elizabeth Berk has reshaped addiction care in South Africa for 23 years, focusing on trauma-informed counseling. She identified gaps in traditional treatment, leading to high relapse rates. By emphasizing empathetic relationships and addressing emotional needs, she achieved success. Transitioning to online counseling during the pandemic, she maintains success in harm reduction and trauma counseling. Berk's research and advocacy challenge stigma and treatment resistance in the addiction field, presenting her findings at the South African Mental Health Conference in 2023. She now conducts research via the Global Mental Health Peer Network for the World Health Organization on Human Rights Guidance for addiction care and mental health, advocating for a compassionate approach.

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