Category Archives: Update

World Maternal Mental Health Day – hunger and maternal mental health

World Maternal Mental Health Day 

1 May 2019

The increase in life stressors that often occur around pregnancy can make women more vulnerable to mental health problems. In South Africa, one in three women suffers from common mental disorders, such as depression and/or anxiety, during and after pregnancy.

That is why maternal mental health is our priority!

This year, we will again proudly participate in the World Maternal Mental Health Day campaign – supporting a worldwide effort to raise awareness of maternal mental health issues so that more women will get the necessary support and fewer will suffer.

Why we need MMH day

Life changes around pregnancy make women more vulnerable to mental illness. The negative cycle of poverty and mental illness impact on a woman’s ability to function and thrive, further reducing her income-generating potential and increasing suffering. Untreated mental illness in parents may also affect children, with possible long-lasting physical, cognitive and emotional outcomes.

Mental health care provides the necessary support to empower women to identify resources and personal capabilities. This can enhance their resilience to difficult life circumstances and support them to nurture their children optimally. Caring for mothers is a positive intervention for long-term social development.

Over the next few weeks, across all our social media platforms, we will highlight the link between food insecurity and maternal mental health.

We hope you will follow our campaign by turning on your post notifications, share our posts and follow the campaign hashtag #maternalMHmatters



Looking back and moving forward for #globalPMH

Our first newsletter of the year reflects on 2018 and takes a sneak peek into projects and research still to come.


What a year it’s been!
Find out what we’ve achieved and view the highlights of our activities in 2018 in our Annual Report

How social factors drive up suicide rates among pregnant women

We are reposting our article on maternal suicide on the occasion of #WorldSuicidePreventionDay2018


Source: The Conversation/ Perinatal Mental Health Project & Jason Bantjes

Pregnant women in South Africa who live in poor communities are more likely to consider or attempt suicide than the general population. That’s a key finding from a recent study we undertook at Hanover Park.

The research found 12% of pregnant women living in low-resource communities had thought of killing themselves during the previous month. In the same period, an additional 6% of pregnant women reported they had started to enact a suicide plan or attempted to end their lives. Rates of depression and anxiety were also found to be elevated among the pregnant women who took part in the study.

These findings mirror research about high rates of suicidal ideation and behaviour among pregnant women elsewhere in the world. A review of 17 studies in high- and low-income countries found the prevalence of suicidal ideation among pregnant and postpartum…

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Hanover Park: trauma and loss – mothers and children in need for mental health support

A recent article in the Daily Maverick emphasised the need for trauma counselling for women and children in the Cape Flats.

Our service site in Hanover Park serves the Greater Athlone health district, including parts of the Cape Flats, since 2012.

We continue to screen thousands of mothers and counsel about 200 per year at the Midwife Obstetric Unit.

Read more about our Hanover Park service here

Read the Daily Maverick article here

PMHP midyear reflection

Our August newsletter includes our latest publications and a shout-out to our fantastic volunteers!

Thank you to Ndivhudzannyi (Ndi) Mphephu, Sasha Roytowski, Rachel Field and Marni Riese for your valuable contributions, without which our work would not be possible!

Click the image below to read our newsletter or sign-up here!

Good News in June

During the first half of 2018, we have produced a training video on Empathic Engagement Skills, published a number of research papers and have been busy all around.

Read our latest newsletter or subscribe to get the latest developments straight into your inbox.

(no worries, we are only sending a newsletter every couple of months!)

Click on the image to read the June newsletter 

Our journey continues – 2017 in a nutshell

2017 has been, mostly, a successful year for the PMHP with some major achievements. We have seen our strategic model realised in concrete terms in many of the arenas where we work: we identify key service gaps, conduct research, develop policy and support widespread implementation by others.

Click the image to read our Annual Report 2017

Find the PDF version and previous reports on our website.

Lean, but still going strong!

We started the year with a new publication on the relation of food insecurity, poverty and depression in pregnant women.
This year, we will focus on our research and advocacy activities, while strengthening our collaboration with advocates and researchers around the globe.
We want to use this opportunity to thank our partners and donors for their unwavering support!!
More on that in our latest newsletter.

The Good, the Sad and the Way Forward

 Dear colleagues, supporters, partners and friends of PMHP

2017 has mostly been a successful year for the PMHP with some major achievements. We have seen our strategic model realised in concrete terms in many of the arenas where we work: we identify key service gaps – conduct research – develop policy – support the widespread implementation by others.

Read the entire director’s summary and the reasons behind the closure of two of our service sites on our newsletter

PMHP’s Spring update

The Perinatal Mental Health Project is shifting pathways

Read our latest newsletter to find out what we have been up to and how we are planning to go forward

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