Who benefits

Women & Girls

The PMHP was founded to address the crisis of mental disorders among pregnant & postpartum women and girls from some of the most disadvantaged communities. These mothers face extreme hardship, experience multiple, severe traumas and have little or no support. 

By working upstream with mothers in distress, our programmes provide a protective and preventative intervention to contribute to positive early childhood and adolescent development in addition to overall maternal well-being.

Read more below or follow this link to the Mothers’ Stories

Women are particularly affected by

  • poverty
  • abuse
  • a lack of social support
  • isolation
issues around teenage pregnancy
  • refugee status


Since inception in 2002 the PMHP has



pregnant women



mothers in distress



individual sessions

*as at December 2017

Health and social development workers

Health and social development workers face enormously stressful working conditions in South Africa, many enduring the same challenges as their clients, such as poverty, violence, HIV/AIDS and lack of support.

The PMHP Training and Capacity Building programme fills a gap in training and at the same time pays attention to workers own mental health needs. We believe that addressing the mental health needs of staff will improve the care given to mothers. Workers report that our training programme is an experience that transforms them personally and, at the same time, improves the care they give to mothers. 

Addressing maternal mental illness requires supportive, empathic care for women during and after pregnancy. Through our Training and Capacity Building programme and our partnerships with the Department of Health and Department Social Development, we are able to build capacity among the following:

  • managers, health workers, maternity nurses, midwives and social workers in the public sector
  • undergraduate and post-graduate students in the health and social development related fields
  • community care workers engaged with vulnerable women and girls
  • health ministries in other low-income countries

The PMHP training programme

  • Translates and transfers knowledge about maternal mental health 
  • Empowers and affirms providers to care for mothers
  • Increases awareness and shifts attitudes amongst service providers
  • Develop pragmatic skills and practices which enable service providers to identify, support and refer clients with maternal mental health problems
  • Promote methods which promote mental health support for service providers
  • Develop trainers beyond the PMHP to conduct maternal mental health training

Read also our learning brief: Achieving quality healthcare by caring for health workers


PMHP has been training an average of 500  nurses and midwives annually since it started in 2002. In 2017 we trained 1,026 students and service providers.

For more details visit our Training and Capacity Building pages or view the PMHP Training cascade.