Officially launched in August 2010 in memory of Alan J Flisher, the CPMH developed as an outcome of the Mental Health and Poverty Project (MHaPP), and out of a shared vision and commitment to collaboration between the University of Cape Town (Department of Psychiatry & Mental Health) and Stellenbosch University (Psychology Department).
The vision of the CPMH is to be a collaborative inter-institutional multi-disciplinary centre that conducts high quality research on public mental health, and uses evidence for teaching, consultancy and advocacy to promote mental health in Africa.
The desired impact is that the CPMH will be widely acknowledged as a key party in the strengthening of expert capacity in mental health policy institutions in Africa, and a reliable and respected source of information and knowledge for uptake and utilisation.
More broadly, there will be a demonstrable increase in the number of African countries that are scaling up mental health services, and developing legislative and regulatory frameworks for public mental health systems.
The objectives of the CPMH are:
to build capacity in Africa for public mental health, mental health policy, planning and legislation, through accredited post-graduate teaching programmes
to undertake high quality research in the areas of public mental health, mental health policy, services, legislation and human rights
to advocate for the inclusion of mental health on health policy and development agendas in Africa
to provide advisory services to provincial and national government in African countries, and international health and development agencies, with the goal of strengthening mental health policy and systems.