Sandton City partners with mental wellness app after suicides at the mall

Downtown Sandton with Leonardo Building, Michelangelo Apartments, under dark sunset view with Nelson Mandela Square.

  • The real estate group that runs Sandton City has partnered with a mental health app to help deal with mental health issues.
  • This comes after two separate suicide incidents in the mall in the past two months.
  • Panda connects people anonymously with resources curated by a team of mental health professionals.

Liberty Two Degrees, the company that operates the Sandton City shopping mall, has partnered with mental health app Panda in an effort to improve mental health. This is after two separate suicides in the mall.

Panda connects people anonymously with valuable resources curated by a team of mental health professionals.

“Starting with the Sandton City Centre, which attracts an average of two million visitors per month, shoppers will be provided with QR codes to download the app to their smartphone on the free wifi provided. Additionally, messages urging people to embrace the support offered through the app will fly are encouraged. On electronic billboards within the center and on the center’s digital platforms and in direct communication channels,” Sandton City said.

Users can access seven thirty-minute sessions of live text-based support from a mental health professional using the promo code #SandtonCity. This is limited to 50,000 users.

The app has a ‘Bamboo Forest’ feature that allows the user to interact with other people who may be facing the same challenges they are and participate in audio-only group discussions or expert-led group discussions to better understand mental health related topics.

Jonathan Sinden, chief operating officer of Liberty Two Degrees, said:

We realize that the past two years have been quite challenging for many families. Mental health affects the way a person thinks, acts, feels and adapts to life. We are pleased to have Liberty Two Degrees play a role in making mental health support available to South Africans at this time when it is absolutely necessary.

In two separate incidents in October and November, two people were killed in the same area of ​​Sandton City. In addition to cooperating with Panda, the mall has also closed access to the respective area.

“All entrances from the open parking area at level 8 to this designated area will be closed indefinitely. The Protea Court Elevator will be programmed to move only to level 7. Level 8, 9, 10 will be blocked. Escalators from level 7 to level as Number 8 will be cordoned off, preventing any access to Level 8.”

Additional security will be placed at level 7, and motion-sensing cameras will be installed.

The app is the brainchild of Alan Sweidan, a clinical psychologist, and Alon Letts, the former General Manager and Uber Director in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“As celebratory blues influences so many of us, we are extremely proud to partner with Liberty Two Degrees and of course Sandton City to emphasize the importance of mental health. Having support when feeling depressed, overwhelmed or anxious is very important and nothing to be ashamed of,” Sweidan said. “.

Early next year, Liberty Two Degrees will carry out the campaign at its other malls, including Nelson Mandela Square, Eastgate, Midlands Mall and Liberty Promenade.


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