Our team


Assoc. Prof Simone Honikman

Director & Founder

Simone is a medical doctor with extensive experience working within the public sector in women’s health, both as a clinician and as a service manager. She founded the PMHP in response to the significant unmet need for maternal mental health within an overstretched public health care system. Her postgraduate qualifications include a Masters degree in Maternal and Child Health. Her work philosophy includes the development of sustainable services for integration within the public health system. Emphasis is placed on preventative interventions and the development of social capital among staff and communities. Dr Honikman is a regular teacher and trainer in the health care community, employing interactive techniques that utilise health workers’ experiences for self-reflection. She has two daughters. Simone was awarded an Ashoka “Making More Health” social innovation fellowship in 2014. See her fellowship profile here.

Sally Field

Project Coordinator

Sally Field completed a BA in Psychology and Sociology at the University of Cape Town and an Honours Degree in Psychology at Rhodes University. She obtained an MA in Video for Development through the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, focusing on participatory practices for development. Her experiences range from film-making to advocacy and development work in
rural Sri Lanka. Sally joined the PMHP as Project Coordinator in 2005, responsible for overall coordination and management of the Project’s four programmes. With a particular interest in health systems development, she designed PMHP’s service development and implementation protocols, as well as its rigorous monitoring, evaluation and data management frameworks.

Clinical Services

Liesl Hermanus

Clinical Services Coordinator

Liesl joined the PMHP in October 2011 as part of the Hanover Park research team, having completed her psychology internship in Hanover Park through CASE (Community Action towards a Safer Environment). She holds an Honours degree in Psychology (2007)
from the University of the Western Cape and is an HPCSA registered counsellor. From 2007 to 2010, Liesl served as a counsellor at
the National Responsible Gambling Programme providing support to people with gambling problems and their family members.
She was a school counsellor at St Anthony’s Primary School before joining the PMHP. Returning to work in the community of Hanover Park after her internship placement appealed to Liesl, and her familiarity with the particular challenges faced by this community adds enormous value to the PMHP study located here. Liesl is a Capetonian and has a son.


Thanya April

Mental Health Counsellor

Thanya joined the Clinical Services team in 2020 after completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Social Sciences, majoring in counselling and psychology. She conducts online mental health assessments and provides counselling support to low-risk clients. Her interests include maternal and infant mental health.


Tyla Prinsloo

Mental Health Counsellor & Admin Assistant

Tyla graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, in 2020. She is originally from Johannesburg, she relocated to Cape Town to pursue her studies. She has a keen interest in working with intergenerational trauma and community psychology. Mental health care provision in underserved communities is a passion of hers as well as advocating for social change. Working with families through the Perinatal Mental Health Project is important to her as she is focused on empowering the family system. 
Tyla is replacing Thanya April while she is on maternity leave.


Siphumelele (Lele) Sigwebela

Junior Research Officer

Lele graduated with her BA in Psychology, English and Chinese Studies from Rhodes University. She completed her honours at UCT
and is currently completing her master’s in research psychology at the Department of Psychology at UCT. She enjoys hearing about young people’s experiences and their world view. She is passionate about learning and gaining skills. Lele has joined the PMHP as a part-time researcher and is assisting with research, administration and fundraising. Although Lele’s research is focused on cognition and technology, she is enthusiastic about women’s rights, health and access. She believes that she can use her skills to support research in maternal mental health, while also gaining and benefiting from the experience of working with us.


Rita Stockhowe

Strategic communication consultant

Rita has a Masters degree in Applied Media and Cultural Studies from the University of Applied Sciences in Germany. She has worked
in the field of strategic communication, public relations, advocacy and communication for development in Asia and the Middle East
since 2001. As a consultant, she has raised funds for the United Nation’s World Food Programme in Thailand, implemented an election awareness campaign in Afghanistan and managed an intercultural dance & theatre project in India. She has also worked in the NGO, private and governmental sector in Cambodia, Tanzania and Germany. Rita joined the PMHP team in January 2014.


Organisational Support

Thanya April


Thanya joined the PMHP team in 2016 as an Administrative Assistant. She holds a diploma in Office and Business Administration from Montrose Business College and an undergraduate degree from the South African College of Applied Psychology. In addition to her administrative duties, she also assists with the PMHP social media accounts.

Godfrey Abrahams

Maintenance Assistant

Godfrey is responsible for the garden at our Hanover Park service site. He has built and loved our garden since it was a sand pit at the launch in 2012. Since then, the garden has become a favourite among the nurses and staff for their lunch breaks. Godfrey has lived all his life in Hanover Park and is very active in his community.


Emma Steinert

Emma recently received her Bachelors of Arts from Kenyon College, in May of 2021, where she majored in Psychology and Sociology. She studied abroad at the University of Cape Town in Spring 2019. Emma is passionate about women’s mental health and has plans to go to graduate school to study clinical psychology. She joined the PMHP team (virtually, from Boston!) in July of 2021 and will be working on various projects within PMHP and is excited to help us with our first-ever crowdfunding campaign. 

PMHP Organogram