This mental health policy is grounded on, and
consistent with a number of existing policy and legislation mandates in South
Africa, including, but not limited to:
and Adolescent Mental Health Policy Guidelines, 2003;
Justice Act, Act 75 of 2008;
Children’s Act, Act 38 of 2005;
Health Act, Act 63 of 2003;
Health Care Act, Act 17 of 2002;
National Health Policy Guidelines for Improved Mental Health in South Africa,
Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996;
White Paper for the Transformation of the Health System in South Africa, 1997.
(National Mental Health Policy Framework and Statistic Plan
mental health for all in South Africa by 2020”
infancy to old age, the mental health and well-being of all South Africans will
be enabled, through the provision of evidence-based, affordable and effective
promotion, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation interventions. In partnerships between providers, users,
carers and communities, the human rights of people with mental illness will be
upheld; they will be provided with care and support; and they will be
integrated into normal community life” (National
Mental Health Policy Framework and Statistic Plan 2013-2020:19)
and principles of National Mental Health Policy Framework and
Statistic Plan 2013-2020:19-21
health is part of general health
health care should be integrated into general health care
with mental disorders should be treated in primary health care clinics and in
general hospitals in most cases
health services should be planned at all levels of the health service
human rights of people with mental illness should be promoted and protected
rights to equality, non-discrimination, dignity, respect, privacy, autonomy,
information and participation should be upheld in the provision of mental
rights to education, access to land, adequate housing, health care services,
sufficient food, water and social security, including social assistance for
the poor, and environmental rights for adult mental health care users should
be pursued on a basis of progressive realisation. The non-conditional rights of mental health
care users under the age of 18 years, including basic nutrition, shelter,
basic health care services and social services, should be promoted and
health care users should have access to care near to the places where they
live and work.
health care users should be provided with the least restrictive forms of
community-based resources should be mobilised where ever possible.
avenues for outpatient and community-based residential care should be
explored before inpatient care is undertaken.
recovery model, with an emphasis on psychosocial rehabilitation, should
underpin all community-based services.
services should be accessible to all people, regardless of geographical
location, economic status, race, gender or social condition.
health services should have parity with general health services.
the social determinants of mental health requires collaboration between the
Health sector and several other sectors, including Education, Social
Development, Labour, Criminal Justice, Human Settlements and NGOs.
health should be considered in all legislative, policy, planning,
programming, budgeting, and monitoring and evaluation activities of the
development and delivery should aim to build user capacity to return to,
sustain and participate in satisfying roles of their choice in their
are varying cultural expressions and interpretations of mental illness, which
should be respected, insofar as they protect the human rights of the mentally
should be sensitive to gender-related issues experienced by men and women,
and boys and girls.
support and integration
support should be provided to families and carers of those with mental
illness, in order to broaden the network of support and care.
health care users should be involved in the planning, delivery and evaluation
of mental health services.
and advocacy groups should be encouraged
health care users and their associates should have support to enable them to
development of self-help, peer support and advocacy groups should be
health care users should be given equal opportunities and reasonable
accommodation to ensure full participation in society.
and structural barriers to full participation should be overcome. Access to education, employment, housing,
and social supports should receive particular attention.
limited resources available for mental health should be used efficiently, for
should be informed by evidence of effectiveness.
health interventions should be directed at mental health promotion, the
prevention of mental illness, treatment and rehabilitation.
vulnerabilities to mental health problems associated with life stages of
infancy, middle childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age), as well as
vulnerabilities associated with gender (including pregnancy), socio-economic
position, ill-health and disability should be protected against through the
provision of targeted prevention interventions
A) In the
National Mental Health Policy Framework
and Statistic Plan 2013-2020:26, one of the main significant areas
identified in the intervention framework is the Services for Children.
Areas of special focus are:
Prevention of delays in emotional and intellectual
Introduction of life skills education;
Prevention of substance-related problems;
Family strengthening programmes for at-risk
Programmes to strengthen school connectedness
Rights form part of the core values of the National Mental Health Policy Framework and Statistic Plan 2013-2020:20.
One of the principles forming part of the human rights value states that “the non-conditional rights of
mental health care users under the age of 18 years, including basic nutrition,
shelter, basic health care services and social services, should be promoted and