An Evaluation of the Health System costs of Mental Health Services and Programmes in South Africa

The Alan J Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health (CPMH), together with the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), are pleased to announce the release of the full technical report of the Evaluation of the Health System Costs of Mental Health Services and Programmes in South Africa (2016/17 FY); and the accompanying open-access publication: Mental health system costs, resources and constraints in South Africa: a national survey.

Responding to some of South Africa's biggest information gaps related to our mental health system,  for the first time, this study offers a nationally representative reflection of the state of mental health spending and elucidates inefficiencies and constraints emanating from existing mental health investments in South Africa; achieving one of the highest sample sizes of any costing study conducted for mental health in LMICs.  This research endeavor was a joint effort of the National Department of Health (NDOH), the Provincial Departments of Health, the SAMRC and the Alan J Flisher Center for Public Mental Health, University of Cape Town, South Africa.  We are very grateful to all who generously gave their time to support this work. 

As you are aware, following the completion of this first phase of work, technical support has been requested to develop a mental health investment case. We are now in a position to explore the mechanisms by which our country and Provinces can accelerate our progress towards the achievement of the National Mental Health Policy Framework and Strategic Plan (2013-2020) and take forward the prescribed recommendations of the South African Human Rights Commission Report on the State of Mental Health Care in South Africa in the context of the recent passing of the NHI Bill. 

This investment case will involve intensive and ongoing dialogue with Provincial and National structures, the recently enacted Mental Health Think Tank, the Ministerial Task Team for Mental Health and a range of stakeholders involved in the provision of mental health services and mental health service research across the country. Completion of the Investment Case is anticipated by October 2020.  We look forward to sharing more details regarding the process and your involvement in the upcoming weeks.

Electronic links to the full report and accompanying publication are available here:

View the complete An Evaluation of the Health System costs of Mental Health Services and Programmes in South Africa Report (available on the SAMRC website)

Link to Full Technical Report (available on UCT's website)

Link to Accompanying Open Access Publication

Date: 
Tuesday, October 8, 2019 - 14:30