April 30, 2020
This section covers information about mental health stigma, access and treatment, and provides recommendations for employers and resources on NGOs/National Campaigns in South Africa.
About 75% of South Africans with mental health disorders go untreated.52 Like many countries in Africa, public infrastructure has been crumbling under the weight of the
demand for health care, especially because of the impact of HIV; this has been true of the mental health care system as well.
- There are about 13,000 mental health therapists in South Africa (2.75 per 100,000 population), and 90% of those are serving the 37 million people who live in urban areas.
Snapshot of the Health System Landscape
Mental hospital beds: 16.56 per 100,000 population.
General hospital psychiatric unit beds: 4.43 per 100,000 population.
The majority of persons pay at least 20% toward the cost of mental health services/psychotropic medicine..
National health insurance or reimbursement scheme includes the care and treatment of persons with major mental disorders (defined as psychosis, bipolar disorder, depression).*
Total mental health workers: 146.19 per 100,000 population
The majority of persons pay at least 20% toward the cost of mental health services/psychotropic medicine..
No government-adopted or national policy for suicide prevention strategy
12% of the inpatient population stays for more than a year.
*According to data submitted to the World Health Organization (2017)
- In the rural areas, there are only about 7 psychiatrists serving 18 million people.53
- Researchers estimate that only 0.89% and 7.35% of the uninsured population of South Africa requiring care receives some form of public inpatient and outpatient treatment, respectively, leading to a treatment gap of 92%.54
- Experts report that at times, family members say they have called the police on family members in order to get them access to inpatient treatment.55
Addressing Mental Health in South Africa
Introduction & Full GuideAddressing Mental Health From a Global and Local Perspective
Part 1Think Global: Strategies that Multinational Employers Use Worldwide
Part 2Act Local: How Access, Stigma and Coverage Vary in Key Markets and Their Impact on Employer Offerings
Part 3Addressing Mental Health in China
Part 4Addressing Mental Health in France
Part 5Addressing Mental Health in India
Part 6Addressing Mental Health in Italy
Part 7Addressing Mental Health in Japan
Part 8Addressing Mental Health in Mexico
Part 9Addressing Mental Health in South Africa
Part 10Addressing Mental Health in Spain
Part 11Addressing Mental Health in United Kingdom
Part 12Addressing Mental Health in United Arab Emirates
Part 13Mental Health Guide: Example Employer Tools and Resources
More TopicsArticles & Guides Mental and Emotional Well-being Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA)
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