Training to boost mental health capacity

26 January 2012 | Story by Newsroom

Health practitioners from around AfricaIn training: Health practitioners from around Africa attended the first public mental health postgraduate course at UCT.

Everyone agrees that capacity building is the answer to many of Africa's development problems.

The Alan J Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health (CPMH), a joint initiative between UCT and Stellenbosch University and based in UCT's Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, has put that into practice with the launch of what is Africa's first postgraduate training programme in public mental health.

The masters' programme in public mental health is the flagship course of the CPMH's capacity development programme. It aims to build the much-needed human resources for mental health care in Africa, and is linked to the centre's PRogramme for Improving Mental health CarE, or PRIME.

The programme's 11 participants include psychiatrists, psychologists, doctors, nurses, development workers and programme managers. They come from African countries like Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe, and will attend two weeks of coursework at both UCT and Stellenbosch, followed by field research in their home countries.

Five of the participants received fellowships from the Africa Focus on Intervention Research for Mental health (AFFIRM), a programme funded by the US's National Institutes of Health.

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