The Southern Cape Mental Health Society was established in 1963, when no facilities existed for any form of psychiatric assistance between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. During 1972 the Department of Health extended its Psychiatric Community Services and appointed a Community Psychiatric Nurse who worked in close conjunction with the Society. During the next
5 years the Society purchased its own mobile clinic, which was to be used in promoting Mental health and combating psychiatric illness.
In 1977 the Southern Cape Mental Health Society established “Emmaüs” a multi-diagnostic work centre for mentally and/or physically disabled adults who were unable to work in the open labour market. In 1979 the Society withdrew from the psychiatric clinics to concentrate on Emmaüs, and in 1981the Society negotiated with the relevant authorities for the erection of permanent work centre buildings with a hostel.
The Centre currently consists of a hostel with 48 residents housed in single rooms, work area and administrative buildings. The Centre has, apart from the 48 residents, about 80 day beneficiaries who get therapeutic stimulation and learn new skills during the day.
The Centre was officially opened in 1986 by Mr Hennie Smit.