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INSTALMENT 5: Mental health and technological factors

21 Oct 2020

Technological factors impacting on mental health in the South African
context is discussed in terms of two dimensions here:
1. Information systems: South Africa uses the District Health Information System [DHIS] to analyse and report on progress related to health indicators for the purpose of decentralised planning, decision- making and health service management. Data is entered on paper at health facilities and then routinely collected and entered into DHIS software. A recent study looking into provincial estimates of mental health spending at health facility level found that there were inconsistencies in accurate reporting being provided by health facilities, calling for stronger accountability mechanisms for health management monitoring and evaluation across South Africa.
2. Media: As a way to counter misinformation around mental health spread by media, advocacy groups such as the South African Federation for Mental Health have produced guidelines for responsible reporting on mental health. The South African Depression and Anxiety Group also hosts annual Mental Health Journalism Awards to encourage journalists from print, broadcast and online mediums to cover realistic stories on mental health.

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