Melvyn Freeman

Consultant, World Health Organization; Visiting Professor, University of Stellenbosch

Melvyn Freeman has been involved in public health policy and legislation as well as health advocacy for over 35 years as a researcher, activist, developer and implementer. Until 2018 he was Chief Director for Non-communicable Diseases at the National Department of Health in South Africa following a period as the Director of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

He is an expert advisor to the World Health Organization and as a consultant to them was responsible for writing numerous WHO documents on mental health policy and legislation as well as developing education materials. He has held research and consultancy positions (including with the Human Sciences Research Council and Higher Health South Africa) and published extensively on matters of public health including health systems and services, mental health and HIV, youth mental health and community care. Melvyn has a particular concern regarding the social determinants of health and illness and ensuring a holistic and integrated approach to care.

He was a founding faculty member for the Diploma on Mental health, Human Rights and Law. He holds a positions of visiting professor at the University of Stellenbosch.