Training and Development

Capacity building reduces stigma and myths about mental illness among care providers

We provide training in the public health and social development sector, aiming to empower and affirm providers, shift negative attitudes, reduce stigma and client abuse. Our unique experiential approach enables us to prepare all cadres of health care and social development providers  to integrate maternal mental health into their routine practice.

In response to evolving research findings as well as emerging mental health needs of local communities, we constantly modify and adapt existing training programmes and develop new modules to meet our training objectives. Our Training and Development programme works closely with our Research programme and partners with other local and national academic and civil society organisations. Together we develop innovative, relevant and practical mental health training modules for use in urban and rural contexts.

In 2016 we trained 1047 people, including health care, social development providers and community-based workers.

Who do we train?

The PMHP works with a range of health care and social development providers, within tertiary institutions and non-governmental organisations.

We provide

  • under-graduate and post-graduate academic course work for doctors, nurses and midwives
  • in-service training for all cadres of health care, social development providers engaging with vulnerable women
  • skills training in empathic care to all cadres of health care, social development providers

Role of health care, social development providers

The healthcare and social environment in South Africa is challenged by poverty, limited infrastructure, chronic diseases such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, and high rates of domestic violence. Pregnancy provides an opportunity to reach women with mental health services as over 95% of pregnant women are in contact with healthcare services during their pregnancy.

Our Training and Development programme focuses on this unique opportunity to close the treatment gap, by ensuring that health care and social development providers are equipped with essential knowledge and skills to engage with vulnerable women, identify those at risk and refer those needing advanced care. 

Overall Programme Objectives

  • Develop training methods which inform service and care providers (health and social) and other stakeholders about the importance of maternal mental health
  • Develop and demonstrate models for skills training which promote the empathic care of vulnerable mothers, by health and social care workers
  • Develop and demonstrate training methods which address the self-care needs of health and social care workers
  • Support the process of informing the public of the far reaching consequences of mental problems in mothers