Category Archives: Update

Reflect, research, report: 2016 in the rear-view mirror

What a year it’s been!

Find out what we’ve achieved and what we’ve learned last year in
our latest newsletter.

Click on the image to read our March Newsletter or go to our website to read previous newsletters!

Integrating mental health care into maternal and infant care can help low-income families

Integrating therapy, other services, or information into routine visits can make getting help easier and chip away at the stigma regarding postpartum depression.

Photo: Shuttershock Image: Shuttershock

Unlike the “baby blues,” which are commonly associated with mild feelings of worry and fatigue after having a baby, postpartum depression is a mood disorder characterized by a broad range of symptoms including anxiety, extreme sadness, and exhaustion.

Source: How Folding Mental Health Services Into Maternal and Infant Care Can Help Low-Income Families – Rewire

Postpartum Depression: The Help I Needed

We are starting the New Year with a poignant reminder by the Medicated Mommy blogger.


“I consider myself lucky. Maybe not lucky to have gone through the debilitating experience of postpartum depression (although looking back I am grateful–more on that in my next post), but fortunate enough to have recognized something was very wrong within 48 hours of being home from the hospital with my son. Upon this realization… The help I needed came in many different forms during my struggle that first year.”

Source: Postpartum Depression: The Help I Needed – The Medicated Mommy

Why we need to address perceptions around perinatal anxiety and depression

A must read article published by Emma Brancatisano in the Huffington Post Australia. 

The confusions and perceptions surrounding perinatal anxiety and depression are preventing new and expecting mums from seeking help.

“I’m looking down at my baby on my chest and I’m feeling nothing, whilst my husband was besotted with her. He was so overwhelmed with joy and I didn’t have that. I wasn’t feeling how I should.” Sara Gerritsma


Bearing the shame of this illness can prevent new parents like Gerritsma from seeking help early and can leave them suffering in silence for longer.

Read the full article here and learn more about the curent Australian 



Campaigning for mental health and other collaborations

Our latest newsletter is packed with exciting new collaborative projects and updates from our website.

Click the image below to read the latest newsletter or go straight to sign up here

perinatal mental health

Are you caring for moms or dads suffering from perinatal depression?

Our new collection of resources might be of interest to you.


Do you have what it takes?

We are looking for a new research officer to join our team.

‘The Perinatal Mental Health Project (PMHP) requires the services of a Research Officer/Senior Research Officer (SRO). This is a full time post for a one-year contract with appointment starting as soon as possible.

The appointee will be based at the PMHP offices on UCT’s Sawkins Road campus in Cape Town, but may need to travel locally and nationally.’

If you are interested or know somebody who might be a perfect fit for us, please see the job description or share the advert!

Australia – Uganda – Germany and back home

Congratulation to our director, Dr Simone Honikman, who has been elected to the board of The Marcé Society for Perinatal Mental Health.

She is the first board member from the African continent and will take office at the International Marcé Society Biennial Scientific Conference 2016 in Melbourne, where she will give an oral presentation and conduct a workshop.

This and more exciting news about the PMHP activities in our latest newsletter.


“cold of the soul” – how Japan came to believe in depression

Until the late 1990s depression was not widely recognised in Japan, that changed when an advertising campaign called it a “cold of the soul”!

“Depression” was a word rarely heard outside psychiatric circles. Some claimed this was because people in Japan simply did not suffer depression.

They found ways to accommodate these feelings while somehow carrying on with life. And they gave low moods aesthetic expression – in art, in film, in the enjoyment of cherry blossom and their fleeting beauty.

Find out how the arts finally brought ‘depression’ out of the shadows and gave it a new name everybody could relate to in this BBC magazine special.

depression in japan

Why fathers (and mothers) need paternity leave in South Africa

 On the occasion of the first International Fathers Mental Health Day, 20 June, Wessel Van Den Berg (Sonke Gender Justice) reflects on celebrating the unpaid care work mothers do, and how to encourage the dads who are already sharing the care.

“The recently released 2015 General Household Survey revealed a mixed bag for our children. There was a commendable increase in the number of five-year-olds enrolled in school, but at home the picture isn’t so rosy.

According to the survey, 63% of fathers do not live at home with their biological children. This number has remained more or less the same for the past decade. The fact is that there is a massive gap in father’s presence in children’s lives. And this is a problem.

The most obvious is that this may indicate less financial support provided by fathers to families. But there’s another reason fathers should be encouraged to be present and active in their children’s lives. It allows women and girls to achieve their full potential. That’s right: women and girls.”


Source: Why fathers (and mothers) need paternity leave in South Africa – Sonke Gender Justice

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