The Mental Health Information Centre of SA (MHIC)

Area: Tygerberg, Cape Town
Postal Address: PO Box 19063, Tygerberg, 7505, South Africa
Phone: +27 (0)21 938 9229
Fax: +27 (0)21 931 4172

The Mental Health Information Centre of SA (MHIC)

Mental illnesses are real and have a significant negative social and economic impact on South African society. The recently released World Health Organization’s World Health Report 2001, states that one in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from these conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill health and disability worldwide.

These conditions are highly treatable and have enjoyed considerable research attention since the 90’s were declared "The Decade of the Brain". Important breakthroughs in diagnosis and treatment include the development of selective medications that are effective and safe for the treatment of major psychiatric disorders. Also, the development of functional brain imaging techniques allows us to show how specific neurocircuits are involved in psychiatric disorders.

However, the WHO estimates that nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental disorder never seek help from a health professional, although treatment is available in many cases. Stigma, discrimination and ignorance are often barriers to treatment reaching people with mental disorders.

If there are any errors in the above information, please notify us via an email to

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