Mpilwenhle Mthunzi



Mpilwenhle provides high-level clinical leadership and service development within Turning Point and Statewide services. He undertakes service planning and review – developing realistic operational management plans that reflect the strategic direction and performance objectives of the organisation. Mpilwenhle engages in workforce planning and development, building the organisations workforce capacity, and maintaining the appropriate staff skill mix and competence to meet future service needs. He actively participates in the development of annual service budgets, optimises management of revenue streams, monitors ongoing budget performance and seeks ongoing efficiencies.

Mpilwenhle is a Doctor of Public Health candidate and holds a Master of Health Administration; MSc Health Promotion and Public Health; BSc Honours Nursing Studies and HE Dip Nursing (Mental Health).

What made you want to work in the addiction sector?

Helping some of society’s most marginalised and stigmatised individuals has always appealed to me. The desire to change perceptions and stigma one conversation at a time continues to be my guiding principle in my work. Starting off in mental health and transitioning to AOD was seamless as both suffer similar stereotypes.

What are the misconceptions of addiction?

That individuals who suffer from it choose to; that educated well-to-do individuals do not suffer from it; that people with an addiction lack the will power to recover; and that addiction is a moral issue rather than pathological.

What are the biggest challenges for someone with an addiction?

The biggest challenges for someone with an addiction is their inability to access services; poor relationships with loved ones; homelessness; unemployment; inability to relocate from an enabling environment; poor physical health outcomes; and comorbidity with mental illness.

What has been your experience of the documentary?

Touched and excited. Touched because the stories in the documentary are heart wrenching. Excited that their stories are being told and hopefully this will lead to renewed attention that addiction deserves.

What do you hope people will see when they watch the documentary?

I hope they see the everyday struggles that people with addiction go through. The willingness to fight for recovery that they always harbour, and the hope that while it is a struggle, recovery is possible.

How can we as a society ‘Rethink Addiction’?

By de-stigmatising addiction one conversation at a time.