Between 4 October and 6 November 2018, the University of the Free State team has completed data collection among nurses for the first stage of the MEGA project.
The background survey was conducted among PHC practitioners. It included questions related to mental health care services available at PHC level, education development needs and mental health literacy. University ethical clearance and permission was obtained from the Director of Free State Department of Health (FSDoH) and all the levels of management in FSDoH – provincial, district and sub-district level – prior to commencement. All clinics (n=16) and community health centres (n=2) in the Mangaung Municipality were included (total facilities n=18). Consent forms were signed by nurses who agreed to participate. All registered and enrolled nurses and nurse assistants who indicated that they screen for mental health were provided with questionnaires and requested to participate. A total of 98 nurses participated, of which the majority were professional nurses. Only 8 staff nurses and three nurse assistants participated. Some nurses were very excited to participate but others felt that they do not have time or did not want to participate. Data was captured by 8 November on site at the University of the Free State using SPSS. Data cleaning and analysis are underway.