Capacity building

The PMHP builds a critical mass of service providers capable of detecting and providing basic mental health support for mothers

We provide training in the public health and social development sectors as well as through academic institutions. We aim to empower, affirm and sustain providers, shift negative attitudes, reduce stigma and client abuse. 

Our experiential approach enables us to prepare all cadres of service providers to integrate maternal mental health into their routine practice. We develop innovative, relevant and practical mental health training modules and multi-media resources for use in urban and rural contexts.

Who do we train?

The PMHP works with a range of service providers, within tertiary institutions and non-governmental organisations.

We provide

  • under-graduate and post-graduate academic coursework for doctors, nurses and midwives
  • in-service training for all cadres of service providers engaging with vulnerable women
  • skills training in empathic care to all cadres of service providers

Role of service providers

The healthcare and social environment in South Africa are 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 as over 95% of pregnant women are in contact with healthcare services during their pregnancy.

Our Training and Capacity Building programme focuses on this unique opportunity to close the treatment gap, by ensuring that service providers are equipped with essential knowledge and skills to engage with vulnerable women, identify those at risk and refer those needing advanced care. 

We have developed a number of open-source resources, like this new Facilitating groups in service settings: a guide for facilitators, which can be accessed and downloaded in Courses and Modules or on our Resources for service providers pages.

No Maternal Health without Mental Health

When a healthcare worker demonstrates empathy during patient interactions – this is highly effective in improving the wellbeing of the patient. In June 2022, we developed the storyline and scripts for this training video. Scenes were filmed with PMHP staff as actors at Mowbray Maternity Hospital. This video demonstrates a positive and negative mental health screening engagement.