Capacity Building Update for SMhINT South Africa


  • A close collaboration with the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Department of Health has led to a co-creation of the South African Capacity Building Component.
  • Requirements for Capacity Building trainees was they had to work for the Department of Health in a management capacity and be interested and involved in management of mental health care services. This process led to the selection of 16 participants who are involved in the governance of mental healthcare in the province, at district and provincial levels. The group includes representatives from the provincial mental health and substance abuse directorate, as well as from each district in the KwaZulu-Natal province. The names and details of the final group is as follows:

  • An introductory, two-day workshop was held at a venue in Salt Rock, Ballito, where intensive and participatory discussions took place, resulting in the identification of a set of core issues to be included in the proposed curriculum. The content was refined and discussed further with the provincial mental health leadership, leading to a core curriculum.
  • The curriculum consists of five contact sessions and includes an introductory session on implementation research; planning strategies and skills for integrated mental healthcare, including developing theory of change to guide implementation and evaluation; implementing integrated mental healthcare strategies using continuous quality improvement; monitoring and evaluation; and how to disseminate and communicate findings and plans; and a graduation ceremony where individual projects will be presented by mentees.
  • Background materials will include implementation science learning materials from the recently launched implementation science short course presented by the Department of Global Health, University of Washington; the WHO TDR implementation science resources; and various online resources in continuous quality improvement, monitoring and evaluation. Following the completion of contact session 2, all participants will be allocated to mentors according to geographical region and mentorship needs. In between contact sessions, mentors will regularly meet with participants in their respective regions to provide technical support.


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