about us

The South African Federation for Mental Health (SAFMH) was founded in 1920, originally called The South African National Council for Mental Hygiene and the Care of the Feeble-Minded. Through the years it has changed its name a number of times, eventually settling on the South African Federation for Mental Health in 1990. Since its humble beginnings, SAFMH has played an important role as an advocacy body, promoting community mental health care and deinstitutionalisation and fighting for the rights of persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities. Today, SAFMH is the largest national mental health federation in South Africa, with the national office situated in Johannesburg, and constituent bodies [known as Mental Health Societies] located in all nine provinces. While SAFMH works at a strategic level with government and other national and international mental health stakeholders and partners to raise awareness of mental health and human rights and to advocate for improved resourcing of mental health, the Mental Health Societies are independent, community-based mental health organisations who deliver essential frontline mental health services to communities that are often under-resourced.

SAFMH is a mental health-focused, human rights organisation, with a 100-year track record of service delivery to South Africans from all walks of life. We pride ourselves on our rich history and the vast pool of experience and expertise from which we have and continue to draw our inspiration and knowledge from.

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