Who We Are
The SA Federation for Mental Health (SAFMH) is the largest national mental health organisation in South Africa.
The National Office engages with government and other key stakeholders in the mental health sector – nationally and internationally – with the aim of creating a society in which mental health and the wellbeing of mental health care users receive the attention they deserve.
The SAFMH Board is constituted by 17 Mental Health Societies from across South Africa and the SA Mental Health Advocacy Movement. The Mental Health Societies are all independent bodies with their own governing structures. These organisations provide community-based mental health services to communities that are often vulnerable and under-resourced.
The SAFMH National Office aims to provide support to these organisations from a strategic national perspective and to a certain extent streamline mental health services in South Africa.
Empowerment: SAFMH focuses on building the capacity of mental health care users and mental health organisations through training initiatives.
Advocacy and human rights: Advocacy and Integration of persons with intellectual and / or psychosocial disability into society is paramount. Due to myths, stigmatisation, poverty and lack of support systems, society in general. SAFMH monitors services rendered, supporting across the board and the upholding of their constitutional rights, as enshrined in the Mental Health Care Act and UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The South African Mental Health Advocacy Movement (SAMHAM) was established by the SA Federation for Mental Health (SAFMH) in 2007 in recognition of the importance of giving persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities a voice, and further recognising that they are ultimately the experts in mental health and should thus always be key partners among all stakeholders within the mental health sector.
Research and information management: Our Resource Centre serves as a source of information to the public, mental health care users, the media and mental health professionals in need of information, support or referrals. All enquiries and requests for support are documented on a database, which is analysed on an annual basis. SAFMH also conducts ongoing small-scale research into mental health-related issues to enable the National Office to effectively function as an information hub and resource centre.
Awareness: SAFMH informs the public about services rendered, advocating for the rights of persons with intellectual and psychosocial disability, dispel myths and stigma attached to these disabilities, and ultimately to eradicate discrimination. The promotion of mental wellbeing is equally important and focuses on preventative measures through the promotion of healthy lifestyles and other relevant issues.
Mental health in the workplace: SAFMH also provides sessions on mental health in the workplace to ensure the integration and ongoing support of persons with mental disability in the workplace as well as to provide support to corporates in creating an environment that enhances the mental wellbeing of the employees.