At our service site, we provide routine screening for pregnant women and girls for depression and anxiety at the first antenatal visit. If they show signs or are at risk of depression or anxiety, free on-site psychosocial counselling, follow-up and case management is provided by our trained counsellor for up to one year post-delivery.
The PMHP incorporates a rigorous monitoring and evaluation process by conducting routine follow-up assessments with counselled clients 6 weeks after they have given birth. This assessment comprises of several components, including, but not limited to:
- symptoms of depression and anxiety
- general perceptions of current life experience
- self-reported degree of resolution of problems presented to counselling
Statistical analysis of service data from 2018 – 2021 shows the following:
- 58% showed an improved mental health score when compared to the initial mental screen. 3% had worse mental health scores.
- Across the problem categories, problems resolved or partially resolved for 26% of primary support problems, 19% of social or environmental problems, 65% of health / medical problems, 5% of lifecycle transition problems and 48% of mental health problems.
- 99% of women reported successful bonding with their infants.
- 99% of women reported positive experiences of PMHP counselling.
Our analysis shows that PMHP counselling has a beneficial impact on clients, in terms of mood, coping, and general functioning. We have also shown that our intervention builds the clients’ assertiveness and resilience to face the challenges of motherhood in difficult social and economic conditions.
Since inception up until end December 2021 the PMHP has
The PMHP model is based on a stepped care approach, which means that referrals are made to psychiatric services when necessary. We build partnerships with public services and civil society to promote outreach and sustainability of service delivery.