Objectives: To provide a model to estimate human resource needs for community-based mental health services in South Africa.
Methods: A situation analysis was conducted of current community-based mental health service provision in South Africa, which comprise outpatient and emergency services, residential care and day care. Service utilisation rates and staffing needs were estimated for two levels of service coverage, using data from the situation analysis, local epidemiological studies and consultation with key stakeholders.
Results: For a population of 100 000 people, 7.3–23.8 full-time equivalent staff would be required to provide services in outpatient services, 14.9–41.6 in day care and 11.5–23.0 in residential care at minimum and full coverage levels respectively. The model can facilitate rational planning by requiring transparency and accountability in the assumptions used. This method can be adapted to a range of countries, by entering relevant country data.
Conclusions: The model fills a gap, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, where community-based mental health services are sparse, and decisions regarding allocations to them are hampered by a lack of good quality data. The results of the model are limited by the quality of data and the assumptions upon which the modelling are based.
See the spreadsheet model .
Lund, C.; Flisher, A. J. A model for community mental health services in South Africa. Tropical Medicine and International Health (2009) 14 (9) 1040-1047. [DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2009.02332.x]