Call for applications for MPhil in Public Mental Health…

The Alan J. Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health (CPMH), a joint initiative of the Department of Psychology at Stellenbosch University and the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town, is an independent inter-disciplinary academic research and teaching centre for public mental health promotion and service development in Africa. The CPMH is proud to invite applications from across the African continent for the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Public Mental Health in 2022.

The MPhil in Public Mental Health is a part-time research degree that aims to develop advanced research skills, enabling participants to undertake their own research projects (such as evaluating services, policies and interventions) as well as interpret research findings for mental health policy and practice. The programme is designed to be accessible to practitioners who work full-time, and who are from a range of backgrounds including social work, psychology, psychiatry, medicine, occupational therapy, nursing, health economics, public mental health, public health, health service management, policy making and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The training aims to build the professional capacity and leadership of the participants in their work, while contributing to knowledge generation in Africa.

The degree requires:

  • The completion of a 3-week residential or online training module in research methodology for public mental health (depending on COVID-related restrictions, this training may be delivered via an online platform and students will not be expected to travel to Cape Town);
  • Participation in an online writing course March 2022;
  • Participation in monthly webinars
  • The preparation of a dissertation of a minimum of 20 000 words.

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Alan J Flisher CPMH Seminar: When things fall apart…

The CPMH’s seminar programme is an opportunity to share on-going work and invite broader participation in the Centre.

On 4 May 2021 the Alan J Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health hosted a seminar by Dr. Thandi Davies. She is a post-doctoral researcher in the field of public mental health.

Task sharing using community health workers (CHWs) has been recommended as a cost-effective means to address the mental health treatment gap and reduce the burden on mental health specialists in public health services. Evidence has shown moderate effects of task-shared treatments on the reduction of perinatal depression, but little is known about the processes, mechanisms and elements that lead these treatments to be effective. This thesis was nested in the AFFIRM-SA randomised controlled trial (RCT), which aimed to test a 6-session psychosocial intervention for perinatal depression delivered by CHWs in Khayelitsha, South Africa. The aim of this thesis was to explore the mechanisms of implementation and change of this intervention through a process evaluation. A framework analysis and grounded theory was used to analyse 34 interview transcripts and 234 counselling session transcripts with project participants and community health workers.

Please view the seminar below.