In Practice

Strengthening of district mental health services in Gauteng Province, South Africa

L J Robertson, M Y H Moosa, F Y Jeenah

Abstract


In response to the Life Esidimeni tragedy, the Gauteng Department of Health established a task team to advise on the implementation of the Health Ombud’s recommendations and to develop a mental health recovery plan. Consistent with international human rights and South African legislation and policy, the plan focused on making mental healthcare more accessible, incorporating a strategy to strengthen district mental health services to deliver community-based care for people with any type and severity of mental illness. The strategy included an organogram with three new human resource teams integrated into the district health system: a district specialist mental health team to develop a public mental health approach, a clinical community psychiatry team for service delivery, and a team to support non-governmental organisation governance. This article discusses the strategy in terms of guiding policies and legislation, the roles and responsibilities of the various teams in the proposed organogram, and its sustainability.


Authors' affiliations

L J Robertson, Department of Psychiatry, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; Community Psychiatry, Sedibeng District Health Services, Gauteng Province, South Africa

M Y H Moosa, Department of Psychiatry, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; Community Psychiatry, City of Johannesburg, South Africa

F Y Jeenah, Department of Psychiatry, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; Department of Psychiatry, Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Keywords

Mental health services; District mental healthcare; Integrated mental healthcare; South Africa

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2021;111(6):538-543. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2021.v111i6.15633

Article History

Date submitted: 2021-05-31
Date published: 2021-05-31

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