SACAP - The South African College of Applied Psychology https://www.sacap.edu.za

SACAP’s Masters of Social Science is specifically designed to enhance a student’s strategic leadership capabilities and proactively contribute to the mental health and wellbeing of the South African community.

A message from the dean

All of SACAP’s education and training reflects our vision of an empowered society knit together by integrated, self-aware individuals in healthy relationship with one another, their families, communities and society at large. SACAP’s qualifications are always embedded within a social context that offer students a wide range of study streams and specialisation options that deal with different social applications of its training.

SACAP’s Masters (MSocSci) degree in Community Mental Health Promotion is a unique programme premised on the fundamental belief that mental health is a state of wellbeing in which an individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a positive contribution to his or her community. To be mentally alert and healthy has a profoundly positive impact upon a person’s ability to live meaningfully and successfully in a community. This is why mental health should be viewed as the backbone of South Africa’s future socio-economic growth and development.

SACAP’s Masters (MSocSci) degree in Community Mental Health Promotion will train students in line with the National Skills Development Strategy III and the National Development Plan 2030 to be able to advance, lead, and innovatively contribute to the mental health of all South Africans. This qualification is intended to draw students from a range of health and social science disciplines e.g. psychology, social work, education, sociology, nursing and occupational therapy, among others.

SACAP’s Masters (MSocSci) degree in Community Mental Health Promotion will focus on training strategic leaders and social innovators who are skilled in community mental health promotion to act as catalysts for the development of robust and successful community mental health structures and strategies.

I am personally delighted to commend this new and exciting Masters degree programme. I remain utterly convinced that the training offered in this degree will have a powerful impact on the type and quality of graduates emerging from the programme who, in turn, will make a significant impact upon mental health, wellbeing and development in South Africa into the future.

Dr. Ashley A. Smyth
Academic Dean

At a Glance

Modules and Credits: 10 modules (At least 120 credits)
NQF 9, CHE accredited

Availability On Campus (Johannesburg and Cape Town)
Duration 2 years part-time
Modules 10 modules including core modules, intensive modules and a mini dissertation.
NQF 9, CHE Accredited

The state of mental health in South Africa

Since 2007 governments worldwide have been engaged in strategies to scale up their mental health services. This was based on the recognition of mental health as a critical global health and development issue.

The Mental Health Policy Framework (MHPF) for South Africa and the Strategic Plan 2013 – 2020 affirmed the belief that mental health is the foundation of thinking and communication skills, and that learning, emotional growth, resilience and self-esteem are all crucial to the overall wellbeing of the South African population.

Post-apartheid South Africa, however, inherited a troubled and inequitable public sector mental health service. This resulted in a lack of access to mental health services in a country whose people struggle with the multiple impacts of structural poverty, violence, prejudice, high levels of trauma and stress, a failing education system, drug abuse and high unemployment rates. These contextual factors are often key contributors to poor mental health and are exacerbated by the rise of communicable diseases such as HIV and TB and the associated stigma still surrounding these illnesses.

The depth of community mental health needs that exist in South Africa are therefore radically disproportionate to the capacity of mental health services to deliver on these needs. Despite great strides in recognising both the importance and significance of mental health for all South Africans, there remains a drastic lack of state budget allocated to this critical sphere of the health sector as well as evident incoherence in the various development strategies and goals that guide South Africa. The ongoing dearth of mental health services for the majority of South Africans has led to a wide spread perception that mental health is the ‘the orphan’ of the healthcare system. Therefore, despite significant need, the majority of South Africans still do not have access to adequate mental health care. This reality presents unique opportunities for engagement, involvement and innovation at multiple entry points to ensure the mental health and wellbeing of South Africans is prioritised and addressed.

SACAP (The South African College of Applied Psychology) has been attentive to this challenge in the design of a Masters of Social Science (Community Mental Health Promotion) degree (MSocSci) that truly speaks to both the needs and the opportunities within the South African mental health landscape.

IF YOU WANT TO CREATE A MEANINGFUL AND POSITIVE CHANGE IN THE AREA OF COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH IN SOUTH AFRICA, THEN SACAP’S MASTERS (MSOCSCI) DEGREE IN COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH PROMOTION IS FOR YOU.

In an attempt to grow and equip a workforce of individuals who can proactively contribute to the mental health and wellbeing of the South African community at large, SACAP has designed a Masters (MSocSci) degree in Community Mental Health Promotion which will highlight:

  • Innovation in addressing the plethora of mental health needs within the South African context;
  • Scholarship and research that is orientated towards a relevant community psychology focused on social intervention;
  • Development of human resources and social capital to build supportive stimulating environments in the context of widespread risk;
  • Community/social development, monitoring and evaluation, management and leadership, mental health advocacy, mental health promotion, human rights advocacy, policy implementation and change management as integral elements of an effective mental health strategy;
  • Strategic leadership for innovating around and promoting community mental health and wellbeing including strengthening leaders who can act as catalysts to bring together various sectors to tackle the mental health challenges the country faces.

SACAP’s Masters of Social Science (Community Mental Health Promotion) is specifically designed to enhance a student’s strategic leadership capabilities and proactively contribute to the mental health and wellbeing of the South African community at large through policy development, advocacy, research, development, implementation and monitoring and evaluation.

*The programme does not lead to registration with the HPCSA in any professional category of registration.

Is this course for me?

SACAP’s MSocSci (Community Mental Health Promotion) is aimed at candidates who are committed to a high level of theoretical engagement and intellectual independence, and to becoming community practitioners who can relate their knowledge at an advanced level in the development of community mental health promotion. If you say yes to any of the following points, then the programme could be of key consideration for you.

Are you?

  • A graduate from an Honours programme in a cognate field who wants a Masters degree that will build your competencies to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively as a strategic leader and social innovator skilled in community mental health promotion.
  • Interested in acting as a catalyst to progressively lead the charge in pro-actively contributing to the mental health and wellbeing of South African communities with self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems.
  • In a leadership position with a focus on community development, mental health advocacy and promotion, policy implementation and change management and want to enrich your effectiveness through a rigorous Masters level academic programme.

The MSocSci (Community Mental Health Promotion) will build the following core competencies:

Advanced scholarship and research capabilities

The degree will advance scholarship/research orientated around a relevant community psychology, as well as building research capacity focused on social intervention, that leverages human resources and social capital to build supportive stimulating environments in the context of widespread risk and to monitor and evaluate the efficiency of such interventions.

Innovative mental health intervention and development

The degree will instil the importance of community/social development, monitoring and evaluation, management and leadership, mental health advocacy, mental health promotion, human rights advocacy, policy implementation and change management.

Strategic leadership development

The programme will build strategic leadership for innovating around and promoting community mental health and wellbeing including strengthening leaders who can act as catalysts to bring together various sectors to tackle the mental health challenges the country faces.

What can I do with this qualification?

As a SACAP MSocSci graduate you will be well suited for employment in an extensive range of public and private sector enterprises including, but not limited to, a variety of NPOs, NGOs and corporate companies focusing on: community/social development, management and leadership, mental health advocacy, mental health promotion, human rights advocacy, policy implementation, monitoring and evaluation and change management. In addition to consulting, research, education and academia, among others.

What future study pathways are open to me?

The programme articulates well into further studies vertically and horizontally and offers graduates a range of study options nationally and internationally. Furthermore, the programme meets the minimum entry requirements for admission to a cognate Doctoral degree, usually in the area of specialisation in the Master’s degree.

Minimum entry requirements are:

A relevant Bachelor Honours Degree (NQF 8) or relevant Postgraduate Diploma in a cognate discipline as recognised by the institution. International candidates who seek admission into SACAP’s MSocSci (Community Mental Health Promotion) must have a degree equivalent qualification(s) that is/are deemed to be of an academic level as those listed above.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy requires such candidates to provide (SAQA certified) evidence that previous learning is equivalent to those listed above. SACAP will limit its intake into the MSocSci (Community Mental Health Promotion) to 20 students per campus per year in order to ensure the integrity of SACAP’s educational philosophy in the context of this programme. SACAP’s educational philosophy is student centred and is focused on providing a supportive learning environment to help students attain their academic goals.

In the MSocSci (Community Mental Health Promotion) SACAP will continue to provide experiential, theoretical and practical learning, using quality curriculum materials, delivered in a small group classroom environment with the student – educator ratio kept low in order to maximise the academic and interpersonal dynamics of a healthy teaching and learning environment.

Registration from the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) at NQF level 8. Accreditation by the Council on Higher Education (CHE). Registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a Private Higher Education Institution under the Higher Education Act, 1997. Registration Certificate Number: 2005/HE07/001. Company Registration number: 2003/019020/07

Head Office: Cape Town Campus, 1st floor Sunclare Building, 21 Dreyer Street Claremont, Cape Town, 7708, South Africa. Tel: 021 671 7692. info@sacap.edu.za

Johannesburg Campus, 1st floor 1 Sixty Jan Smuts Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg, 2196, South Africa. Tel: 011 447 4939. info@sacap.edu.za

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