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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


ROBERTSON, L J; MOOSA, M Y H  and  JEENAH, F Y. Strengthening of district mental health services in Gauteng Province, South Africa. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2021, vol.111, n.6, pp.538-543. ISSN 2078-5135.

In response to the Life Esidimeni tragedy, the Gauteng Department of Health established a task team to advise on the implementation of the Health Ombud's recommendations and to develop a mental health recovery plan. Consistent with international human rights and South African legislation and policy, the plan focused on making mental healthcare more accessible, incorporating a strategy to strengthen district mental health services to deliver community-based care for people with any type and severity of mental illness. The strategy included an organogram with three new human resource teams integrated into the district health system: a district specialist mental health team to develop a public mental health approach, a clinical community psychiatry team for service delivery, and a team to support non-governmental organisation governance. This article discusses the strategy in terms of guiding policies and legislation, the roles and responsibilities of the various teams in the proposed organogram, and its sustainability.

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