African Interest Group | Discussion Forum

Forensic mental health services are in a nascent stage in Africa. Many countries lack secure mental health treatment facilities and where they exist, these services are largely rudimentary. Coupled with this, are the apparent lack of structured training in forensic mental health and the attendant shortage of skilled manpower in the subspecialty. In recognition of this state of affairs, the Africa Interest Group of the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services seeks to provide a forum for African forensic mental health practitioners to exchange ideas on how to develop and sustain forensic mental health services in different parts of the continent while also seizing the opportunity of the larger association to interact with specialists from other parts of the world to further these aims.

It is the hope of the interest group that a robust multidisciplinary approach to research, training and service development in the area of forensic mental health within Africa will evolve from the various opportunities of interaction that the group will provide.

Mission Statement

To create a platform for research, training, support and information sharing geared towards the development of forensic mental health services in Africa through partnership and collaboration within an international network of forensic mental health specialists.

Target group

The Africa Interest Group is open to any member of IAFMHS. There is no additional membership fee. Group members will include psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, and administrators who have interest in forensic mental health services in Africa. Legal practitioners, correctional officers and other government officials who interface with mentally ill offenders will also find the group of immense benefit.


  • Identifying interested practitioners in different parts of the continent
  • Encouraging these forensic mental health practitioners to join the IAFMHS
  • Creating a forum for learning from different service models
  • Providing a platform for international collaborative research within African services as well as potentially setting up such research at an intercontinental level leveraging on the opportunities provided by the network of IAFMHS members

How to achieve these goals

  • The Africa Interest Group will hold annual meetings during the IAFMHS conference with deliberation on common challenges to service development as well as relevant symposia during future IAFMHS meetings.
  • Develop a directory of like-minded practitioners (including non-Africans with interest in developing forensic mental health services in Africa) to share information and encourage collaborative research. This will also help to key into available training opportunities.

If you are interested in joining our group please contact Dr. Adegboyega Ogunwale by e-mail (

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