Stigma and myths about mental illness prevents vulnerable women from seeking treatment
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 development unit works closely with our research programme and partners with other academic and civil society organisations, both locally and nationally. Together we develop innovative and relevant mental health training modules for use in urban and rural context.
In 2015 we trained 889 people, including health care and social development providers as well as community-based workers, in 35 training sessions and 9 workshops
Who do we train?
The PMHP works with a range of health care and social development providers, within tertiary institutions and non-governmental organisations.
- 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
In a healthcare and social environment already 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 – over 95% of pregnant women in South Africa 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