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Sept. 12, 2016

Health policy and integrated mental health care in the SADC region: strategic clarification using the Rainbow Model

Region: Africa Scientific publication Empowering and engaging people and communities, Reorienting the model of care, Coordinating services within and across sectors, Creating an enabling environment Source: International Journal of Mental Health Systems

Mental illness is a well-known challenge to global development, particularly in low-to-middle income countries. A key health systems response to mental illness is different models of integrated health care, especially popular in the South African Development Community (SADC) region. This complex construct is often not well-defined in health policy, hampering implementation efforts. A key development in this vein has been the Rainbow Model of integrated care, a comprehensive framework and taxonomy of integrated care based on the integrative functions of primary care. The purpose of this study was to explore the nature and strategic forms of integrated mental health care in selected SADC countries, specifically how integrated care is outlined in state-driven policies.