Promoting public mental health in Africa
A first of its kind in Africa, the Alan J Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health (CPMH) is actively involved in research, capacity development, service provision and advocacy. The broad goal of the Centre is to strengthen public mental health on the African continent. The Centre is undertaking a range of projects and programmes such as the PRogramme for Improving Mental health carE (PRIME), AFrica Focus on Intervention Research for Mental health (AFFIRM), the Perinatal Mental Health Project (PMHP) and Improving Mental Health Education and Research capacity in Zimbabwe (IMHERZ).
A good example of how the Centre has taken its work beyond research and into the policy realm is through PRIME, a cross-country research programme funded by the Department for International Development (UKAID). PRIME actively works with Ministries of Health partners in order to translate its research into mental health policies and programmes. Staff in the CPMH have actively participated in South Africa’s National Mental Health Summit at the end of April 2012. PRIME also recently returned from Uganda where the 2nd Annual Meeting of the Consortium took place.
Through its programmes, the Centre works actively in 8 African countries, including Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, as well as 2 Asian countries: India and Nepal.
In order to celebrate Africa month (May 2012), the Centre has showcased its work on improving mental health care on the African continent to the public, particularly research and academic communities at the University of Cape Town. A poster, brochures and a slide show was presented at the Africa Day exhibit at the Baxter Theatre on 24 and 25 May 2012.