Prioritising Women’s Mental Health for the Achievement of the SDGs in Africa

  • Maxine F. SpeddingEmail author
  • Angela Ofori-Atta
  • Dan J. Stein
  • Katherine R. Sorsdahl
  • Crick Lund
Part of the Sustainable Development Goals Series book series (SDGS)


Mental health has been explicitly included in the United Nation’s global sustainable development agenda for the first time within the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) under the third SDG, ‘Good health and well-being’. In this chapter, we argue that prioritising the mental health of women in Africa is central to achieving this and several other goals. We outline the adversities faced by women on the continent and highlight some of the opportunities that may arise by focusing on the mental health needs of women. We describe one ongoing multinational project, the PRogramme for Improving Mental healthCarE (PRIME), as an example of a collaborative endeavour to scale up the delivery of mental health services at primary care level in Low- and Middle-Income (LMI) countries. With a view to aligning the SDG and Global Mental Health agenda, we review the evidence for one innovative intervention in the form of cash transfer programmes, giving special attention to their impact on the mental health and well-being of women. Finally, we propose novel approaches to integrating development programmes with mental health interventions, including indicators that better explain the complex relationship between gender, poverty and mental health.


Mental health Empowerment of women Cash transfer programmes Poverty 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maxine F. Spedding
    • 1
    Email author
  • Angela Ofori-Atta
    • 2
  • Dan J. Stein
    • 1
  • Katherine R. Sorsdahl
    • 1
  • Crick Lund
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.University of GhanaAccraGhana

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