Thirty-four-year-old medico-legal researcher Estelle Prinsloo is on a mission to destigmatise mental health, working towards a future where there is greater access to mental health services, but also a more personal awareness of mental health issues. Diagnosed with inattentive-type attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) when she was struggling to complete her honours degree, she believes that being open about one’s mental health is fundamental to healing.
With a master’s degree in political and international studies from Rhodes University, this Pretoria-based scholar is currently studying psychology part-time, whilst working as a medico-legal researcher at Pretoria’s medico-legal psychology practice, Psychosynthesis. She is also a trained volunteer counsellor at LifeLine.
In collaboration with Motlatsi Khosi, Prinsloo cofounded CtrlADD, an ADHD-positive lifestyle blog for people living with ADHD, written by people living with ADHD in South Africa. Replete with informative posts, creative contributions, and a question and answer section organised around monthly themes, the blog aims to assist people living with ADHD to live, work and thrive.
“Often blogs or websites on ADHD are run by medical experts or industry representatives, and while they offer valuable information, you rarely hear directly from people living with ADHD,” she says. “The blog aims to put a human face to the disorder and reflect the positive, fun and creative side of ADHD.”
She is convinced that the understanding and treatment of mental health requires a multidisciplinary approach. Since 2014 she has been running the South African humanities and social sciences info page on social media, which shares employment and funding opportunities as well as information on seminars and events across universities and industries.—Linda Doke