University of KwaZulu-Natal

University of KwaZulu-Natal

University of KwaZulu-Natal
Mazisi Kunene Avenue
4001 Durban
South Africa

Lead Investigator

Prof Inge Petersen
+27 31 2607970
+27 312602618

Project Staff

Tasneem Kathree
Project Administration

Institute Presentation

Globally the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) is one of three African universities rated amongst the top 500 universities in the world according to the Academic Rankings of World Universities (ARWU). UKZN was formed on 1 January 2004 as a result of the merger between the Universities of Durban-Westville and Natal. The former was a historically black university and the latter a historically white institution under the apartheid era. The merger effectively eradicated these disparities and brought together the rich traditions of two major institutions of higher learning in South Africa, with a vision of becoming the premier university of African Scholarship. UKZN caters for almost 40,000 students, and is one of the largest universities in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Department of Psychology is located within the School of Applied Human Sciences and has a substantive history of engagement with developing primary mental health care services in South Africa, with the Community Mental Health Programme, a multidisciplinary initiative, having been located in the former Department of Psychology at the University of Durban-Westville. This programme played an important role in contributing to mental health policy development in the early days of South Africas democracy having hosted a national workshop, including the national Department of Health on primary mental health care as early as 1994. More recently, the Department has forged partnerships with other countries in Africa to promote research capacity development and mental health services development. The Department was the leading partner of the Mental Health and Poverty Project, a DFID programme for overseeing the development of district demonstration sites for the integration of mental health into primary health care across the four partner countries: Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia, and is currently leading the intervention and research activities of the Programme for Improving Mental Health Care (PRIME) in the South African country site. PRIME is concerned with scaling up integrated packages of mental health care in five countries: South Africa, Uganda, Ethiopia, India and Nepal. The Department is also a partner on the recently NIMH funded capacity building grant for mental health in Africa - Collaborative Hubs for International Research on Mental Health (U19) RFA-MH-11-070 Africa Focus on Intervention Research for Mental Health (AFFIRM). Further, the Department hosts the South African Research Ethics Training Initiative (SARETI), a Fogarty-NIH funded masters level programme in Research Ethics geared at mid-career African professionals and researchers involved in health-related research. This history as well as current associations provides a sound platform for leading the country level activities of Emerald in South Africa and co-leading WP04 on integrated provision of mental health services.

Prof Inge Petersen will be the principal participant and contact person for this program and co-leader of W04. She is a psychologist who has been involved in mental health policy development and implementation with a specific focus on the integration of mental health into primary health care and the development of community based models of mental health care for over 15 years.