Background: In South Africa, the escalating prevalence of chronic illness and its
high comorbidity with mental disorders bring to the fore the need for
integrating mental health into chronic care at district level.
Aims: To develop a district mental healthcare plan (MHCP) in South Africa that
integrates mental healthcare for depression, alcohol use disorders and
schizophrenia into chronic care.
Method: Mixed methods using a situation analysis, qualitative key informant
interviews, theory of change workshops and piloting of the plan in one
health facility informed the development of the MHCP.
Results: Collaborative care packages for the three conditions were developed to
enable integration at the organisational, facility and community levels,
supported by a human resource mix and implementation tools. Potential
barriers to the feasibility of implementation at scale were identified.
Conclusions: The plan leverages resources and systems availed by the emerging chronic
care service delivery platform for the integration of mental health.
This strengthens the potential for future scale up.
This research is supported by the Department for International Development’s Programme for Improving Mental Health Care (PRIME) which is led by University of Cape Town
Petersen, I.; Fairall, L.; Bhana, A.; Kathree, T.; Selohilwe, O.; Brooke-Sumner, C.; Faris, G.; Breuer, E.; Sibanyoni, N.; Lund, C.; Patel, V. Integrating mental health into chronic care in South Africa: the development of a district mental healthcare plan. British Journal of Psychiatry (2015) 208 (s56) s29-s39. [DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.114.153726]
Integrating mental health into chronic care in South Africa: the development of a district mental healthcare plan