Who benefits

The PMHP works to strengthen health and social development systems so that maternal mental health care may be provided at scale, to all women who need this care.

Our beneficiaries are thus located at multiple levels. These include organisations involved in international advocacy work and global health responses; the general public; facilities and organisations (Departments of Health and Social Development, NGOs); individual mothers, their partners and families; service providers in the public service and non-governmental sectors as well as academic institutions.

Women & Girls

The PMHP was founded to address the unmet need faced by pregnant and postpartum women and girls for mental health care. Women living in disadvantaged communities, who face extreme hardship, multiple, severe traumas and little social support, have 20-40% chance of experiencing depression or anxiety around the time of pregnancy and childbirth. In a vicious cycle, these mental disorders result in a higher chance of social exclusion, financial difficulties and vulnerability to experiencing violence. Women most at risk are:

  • those living with HIV/AIDS
  • those who are migrants or refugees
  • those who have experienced childhood traumas
  • those who experience violence in the home or the community
  • adolescents
  • those with food insecurity
  • those without social support from a partner, family or friends
  • those with a prior history of mental illness
  • those who use alcohol or other substances

By working ‘upstream’ with mothers in distress, our programmes develop and support protective and preventive interventions that ultimately contribute to maternal well-being and positive early childhood and adolescent development. 

Our stepped-care, clinical service model, now operating at Hanover Park Midwife Obstetric Unit, comprises routine screening, referral, individual counselling, case management and follow-up integrated into routine maternity care processes.


Since inception in 2002 the PMHP has



pregnant women



mothers in distress



individual sessions

*as at December 2020

Find resources for new moms here

Partners and families

We develop resource materials for the families and partners of mothers and work actively with maternity care systems (at policy level and in the clinics) to support the inclusion of companions in pregnancy and labour.

When appropriate, we involve partners and families in our counselling service for mothers.

Find resources for parents and families here

The general public

We provide an online resource hub of multimedia materials and resources for the general public. We actively engage in social media and traditional media platforms to raise awareness, reduce stigma, empower communities and increase demand for maternal mental healthcare for all mothers.

Go to our resource hub here

Service Providers

We develop and provide undergraduate, postgraduate and in-service training and capacity building packages for many cadres of service providers – employed in government public service or in the NGO sector. This includes the use of interactive methods, multi-media resources, distance-based learning opportunities and train-the-trainer courses. Our training rests on the triad of knowledge, skills and self-care. We have developed and tested an intervention (Nyamekela4Care) that enables teams of service providers to lead their own learning, empathic skills development, peer supervision and self-care practice as an integrated part of routine business.


We train between 700 and 1000 service providers annually in face-to-face seminars, workshops or courses.

Find resources for service providers here

Facilities and organisations

We partner with public service facilities and organisations (in the governmental and NGO sectors) to develop policy, strategy, resources and systems that enable the integration of maternal mental health care into the everyday functioning of these organisations.

Find a list of our partners here

Academic institutions

We lead research and partner with cutting-edge research initiatives that seek to address the knowledge gap for maternal mental health in resource-constrained settings. Our research work is coupled with uptake-strategies to ensure that the new knowledge produced is translated into policy and evidence-based practice.

Find a list of our partners here

Organisations involved in international advocacy work and global health responses

We play a leadership role in four international global communities involved with maternal mental health and have partnered with the World Health Organisation on several initiatives for maternal mental health.

  • The African Alliance for Maternal Mental Health –our director is a member of the steering committee (AAMMH)
  • The Global Alliance for Maternal Mental Health – our director is a member of the steering committee (GAMMH)
  • The International Marcé Society for Perinatal Mental Health – our director is a member of the board (Marcé)
  • World Maternal Mental Health Day Campaign – our director is part of the task-force team (WMMHday)
Find a list of all our global collaborators here