We work closely with strategic partners to strengthen systems for integration of maternal mental health services.
The PMHP works with a range of international, academic, government and non-governmental agencies. Close working relationships with partners and representatives from the beneficiary communities are also important to build sustainable and responsive services.
Alan J Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health (CPMH)
The CPMH is a joint initiative of the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and the Department of Psychology at Stellenbosch University (SU) and the first of its kind in low-and-middle-income-countries. The CPMH conducts high quality research on public mental health, and uses evidence for teaching, consultancy and advocacy to promote mental health in Africa. This is in recognition of the need to prioritise mental health on the public health agenda; to develop professional mental health capacity; and to develop policy, service and legislative frameworks to scale up systems of mental health care in Africa.
The CPMH was awarded the prestigious status of being a WHO (World Health Organisation) Collaborating Centre in 2017, the only collaborating centre in mental health and psychiatry in South Africa.
The PMHP is a founding member and partner of the CPMH. Within the Centre, the PMHP is a cross-country partner of the PRogramme for Improving Mental Health CarE (PRIME) and works closely with the three-year Health System Strengthening in Sub-Saharan Africa (ASSET) project, which aims to pilot and scale an integrated maternal mental health intervention within the Cape Town Midwife Obstetric Unit setting.
Read more about the CPMH
Healthcare across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) reaches too few of those in need and does not achieve the best possible results. Resources are limited, so non-specialists provide most treatments. ASSET NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Health System Strengthening in Sub-Saharan Africa brings together surgeons, obstetricians, midwives, psychiatrists, public health dentists, palliative care and general healthcare specialists to work with social scientists, health economists, information technologists and implementation scientists.
ASSET is looking for practical ways, through health system strengthening interventions, to improve the coverage and quality of care.
ASSET working across three care platforms – surgical care, maternal care and integrated primary healthcare for chronic diseases – in four SSA countries (Ethiopia, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe).
The PRogramme for Improving Mental Health CarE (PRIME), together with the PMHP, developed the Maternal Mental Health Report – detailing their work to improve access to maternal mental health care in low-and-middle-income countries. This short video gives an overview of PRIME’s work and recommendations for further research.
Organisations that form a part of the PMHP’s network
Governmental, South Africa
Over 16 years, the PMHP has increasingly been called upon to support various policy and programme processes for governmental departments and their divisions. These have ranged from national mental health policy contributions to the writing of policy and guidelines pertaining to maternity care, training and the standard maternity stationery amendments.
- Department of Health: Provincial Government of the Western Cape
- National Department of Health
- Department of Social Development: Provincial Government of the Western Cape
- Midwife Obstetric Units and Community Health Centres of the Cape Town Metropolitan District
The PMHP is located within the University of Cape Town which affords us a rich network of collaborators and supporters from several departments and institutes within the Health Sciences Faculty as well as with other departments within the wider university. Through academic consortia, we work closely with other universities within South Africa as well as a range of international institutions.
Partnership activities include teaching and training, research and advocacy work.
Key recent collaborations are listed below:
- Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health
- Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
- The School of Public Health and Family Medicine
- The School of Child and Adolescent Health
- The Knowledge Translation Unit
- The Children’s Institute
- The Division of Nursing and Midwifery
- Research Ethics Committee
- Professional Standards Committee
- Institute for Life Course Health Research
- Department of Psychology
- Division of Nursing and Midwifery
International Universities and other academic entities
- Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
- Harvard University, USA
- Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, UK
- Johns Hopkins University, USA
- London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK
- Makerere University, Uganda
- Oxford University, UK
- Public Health Foundation of India
- University College London, UK
The PMHP enjoys strong working partnerships with leading global advocacy and research organisations.
- Post Partum Support International (PSI)
- The African Alliance for Maternal Mental Health – our director sits on the steering committee (AAMMH)
- The Global Alliance for Maternal Mental Health – our director sits on the steering committee (GAMMH)
- The International Marcé Society for Perinatal Mental Health – our director sits on the board (Marcé)
- The Mental Health Innovation Network (MHIN)
- The Movement for Global Mental Health (MGMH)
- The World Maternal Mental Health Day Campaign (WMMHday)
- The World Psychiatric Association (WPA)
- World Health Organisation – several collaborations over the years (mhGAP)
Read more about our global collaborations here
Non-governmental Organisations, South Africa
The PMHP collaborates with several organisations and services working with vulnerable women and girls.
The PMHP maintains relationships with a range of organisations that support mothers. Central to our strategy is linking fragmented support services together to provide a continuum of complementary services for women. In many instances, the PMHP has developed training programmes or implementation strategies for these organisations to equip them to address maternal mental health issues. PMHP clients are referred regularly to external support services such as social workers, shelters, domestic violence support services and refugee centres. The PMHP maintains and updates a resource directory, which it disseminates to all maternity facilities and partners.
Increasingly, we have been called upon to support the strategic and operational development of several NGOs to integrate maternal mental health care in to their routine service offerings.