Connect Plus Resource Institute (CPRI) says investing in mental health and suicide prevention services could help reduce the number of immediate life-threatening situations related to mental illness.
Chief Executive Officer for CPRI Dennis Mwafulirwa has expressed concern over low governmental funding to mental health units.
He argued that the level of neglect by government is contributing to a state that undermines individuals and increasing their mental health vulnerabilities and risk of suicide.
He went on to say that the goal should be investing in mental health and suicide prevention services and to help reduce the number of immediate life-threatening situations related to mental illness and Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) through increased education, crisis intervention, support and follow-up services including those provided virtually and over the phone.
“As a nation we must address suicide as a significant public health issue. Government needs to take a leading role and provide a detailed a roadmap that is coordinated and integrated including but not limited to long-term commitment to the cause, a nation suicide prevention and mental health strategy, adequate funding and support towards suicide prevention and mental health promotion efforts and a comprehensive covid-19 recovery plan.
“It is sad to note that even during this time of Covid-19 pandemic, the funding that has been directed towards the Non-Communicable Disease (NCDs) and Mental Health Units is very insignificant to do anything meaningful. These two important units together have allocated 15 Million Kwacha in 2020 and 8 Million Kwacha as their annual running budget. This is unacceptable,” he said.
He also said that the funding can be channeled both through public institutions as well as community-based organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations working in the area.
In 1996, World Health Organization, recognizing the growing problem of suicide worldwide and urged countries to provide a framework for suicide prevention.
CPRI is an organization dedicated to promote mental health and wellness, and champion suicide prevention, helping save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.