Maternal Mental Health in South Africa and the Opportunity for Integration

  • Simone HonikmanEmail author
  • Sally Field


Common perinatal mental disorders (CPMD), including major depression and anxiety disorders, are more prevalent in low-and middle-income countries (LMIC) than in high-income settings. In South Africa, the prevalence of CPMD has been shown to be particularly high. Here, the Perinatal Mental Health Project has been developing and refining mental health services integrated into maternity care environments. This chapter describes the core components of the service model: preparing the environment; capacity building of maternity care staff; detection matters; referral, scheduling and tracking of counselling appointments; brief mental health counselling and activating social support; caring for the counsellors; responsive and regular monitoring and evaluation; and linking the service to research, resource development and advocacy work.


Integration Mental disorders Depression Anxiety Maternal Social support Collaborative care Monitoring Evaluation 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Perinatal Mental Health Project, Alan J. Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry and Mental HealthUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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