Youth do not know what to do with issues they face, says mental health expert


A mental health expert says youth in Malawi do not know what to do with the mental health issues they face hence it is important to conduct awareness campaigns in schools so that youth should know where to take their issues.

Mental health expert Kondwani Nhlane said this when Global Health Corps (GHC) in conjunction with Mental Illness Needs Discovery (MIND) held mental health awareness campaign at Dzenza Secondary School in Lilongwe.

During the interaction, students mentioned peer pressure, academic performance, relationships with parents and romantic relationships as some of the causes of stress among the youths. The students also said they are not sure where to take their issues.

Simkoko (R) and Nhlane interacting with students

Nhlane advised the students to discuss issues with their friends or take issues they are facing to teachers who can give them contacts for mental health organizations from where the students can access psychosocial support.

She emphasised the importance of getting help when one is facing issues they affect their mental health.

“If students are not getting mental health support, they may fail to achieve their goals or in some cases they end up committing suicide,” said Nhlane.

GHC Country Director Symon Simkoko said together with partners such as MIND and Caring Hands they have formed Malawi Mental Health Coalition in response to the rise in suicide cases in the country.

According to Simkoko, the organisations want to reach out to students to tell them about depression and other issues of around mental health.

He added that the coalition will create clubs called Safe Spaces in schools where students can come together to share challenges relating to mental health and to learn how they can talk to their friends facing such challenges.

“We are hoping to help students and support them during their time in school so that we reduce cases of loss of students due to mental health challenges,” said Simkoko.

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