By Edwina Mensah-Husselmann
The mind allows people to have awareness of their thoughts and emotions. People with positive mind-sets can contribute to a healthy society, its development and potentially, its economic progression, because a society with a healthy mind-set can positively shape a country’s future.
When people are chronically distressed or depressed, however, interventions could help to see things more positively. Very often, people set out to engage the help of a life coach, a counsellor or a psychologist.
With this in mind, Bank Windhoek assisted Edwina Mensah-Husselmann to start her psychology practice, which aims to allow all Namibians to better their quality of life.
Mensah-Husselmann, 40, is a Clinical Psychologist and the sole owner of a private practice known as Geluk Psychology Services. “If we pay more attention to our mental health, we will have a successful and healthier nation in future,” she said. The practice now employs two people.
“Happiness” in Afrikaans, Geluk Psychology Services is a private practice, which aims to the optimal mental health and general wellbeing of its customers. The practice offers services such as individual, group, couple, and family psychotherapy sessions; rehabilitation referrals; psycho-education programmes and legal psychological services.
Clinical psychology is a broad branch of psychology that focuses on diagnosing and treating mental, emotional and behavioural disorders with the goal of promoting healing and change.
Some of the disorders that are treated include personality drawbacks, developmental disorders, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, neurocognitive and eating disorders.
“I am passionate about studying how our minds work,” said Mensah-Husselmann when asked why she chose this particular business venture.
Passion for psychology
Born in Windhoek, Mensah-Husselmann finished her secondary education at an early age. In 1996, she pursued her studies in psychology.
Mensah-Husselmann’s first job was a Life Skills and English teacher at Ella du Plessis High School in Windhoek. In 2004, she pursued a one-year psychology internship at Okonguarri Psychotherapeutic Centre, a registered mental health hospital situated near Outjo. In 2006, Mensah-Husselmann obtained her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology.
After completion of her internship, Mensah-Husselmann worked as Chief Prison Superintendent at Namibian Correctional Services after independence, and was responsible for psychological rehabilitation and integration programmes for all regions in Namibia under the Correctional Operations Department until 2007.
She started her psychology private practice in 2008 and launched her practice as Geluk Psychology Services in March 2019.
Trials that many entrepreneurs have to deal with are lack of capital, choosing an appropriate location for the business and tedious registration processes. These were just some of the obstacles that Mensah-Husselmann faced. She said that to register the practice was a challenge due to the fact that various regulatory bodies are affiliated to her profession by law.
Mensah-Husselmann, however, emphasised that besides the process being challenging, she respects it because it eliminates fraudulent practices.
She added that cash flow to maintain the psychology private practice’s operations was a major stumbling block.
In February 2019, Mensah-Husselmann sought financial help from Bank Windhoek’s Emerging Small and Medium Enterprises (ESME) Finance Branch. “Other banks did not assist me but Bank Windhoek approved my application within two weeks,” she said.
Bank Windhoek’s ESME Finance Branch offers financial help to promising Namibian entrepreneurs with viable business ideas.
“ESME Finance Branch also focuses on empowering women entrepreneurs. What was clear with Mensah-Husselmann is her drive to make a positive change in her community. Similarly, her reputation in this area made it easier for us to help her. This is the Bank’s way of investing in the communities in which it operates,” said Bank Windhoek’s ESME Finance Branch Manager, Mbo Luvindao.
Mensah-Husselmann said that despite the current economic circumstances, her business is doing well. “This is due to the relationships I have built over the years,” she said.
Mensah-Husselmann advised young aspiring entrepreneurs to develop a savings culture, to have faith and to be ethical. “Believe in yourself, spend money wisely and remember to take care of your employees as they will take care of your business,” she said. Mensah-Husselmann is grateful for the relationship and trust that has developed between her and Bank Windhoek. She plans on expanding her business and believes that Bank Windhoek will be with her throughout the journey – making a positive impact on every Namibian’s mental health.