Perinatal Mental Health Project (PMHP): lessons from integrating mental health into maternity services in South Africa over two decades.


The founding director will describe PMHP’s journey working with perinatal women who experience common mental health conditions in South Africa and other low and middle income countries– and how the project has worked to strengthen the systems that impact these women. She will highlight the challenges faced and key lessons learned over two decades.

Attendees will gain an understanding of the PMHP’s efforts to embed comprehensive mental health support within maternity care at healthcare facilities and within community organisations. The discussion will cover the project’s experience with detection, community engagement, the translation of policy to practice, and provider capacity building, including their approach to addressing the problem of obstetric violence.

The PMHP’s service model will be described and recent research findings will be presented. Discussion will relate to maternal mental health matters within a broader global context. This session will encourage a pragmatic consideration of strategies that address perinatal mental health concerns in resource constrained settings.