As Malawi joins the world in commemorating the World Mental Health Day, the Ministry of Health has urged stakeholders to support and direct investment for vulnerable populations and investment in communities and youth in particular to help in reducing the risk of mental illness in the country.
Through a statement released by the Ministry of Health and signed by the Secretary for Health Dr. Samson Mndolo, the ministry has reiterated the need to invest in the human rights of people with mental illness.
The ministry also says that this year’s theme ‘Mental Health is a Universal Human Right’ enables government to increase efforts in ensuring that everyone has access to to quality mental health care and that the human rights and wellbeing of people with mental illness are respected.
“The Ministry of Health urges all civil societies and non-governmental mental health organizations and agencies to work with government to apply universal preventive measures that reduce the risk of mental illness, including promotion of social inclusion policies, to improve well-being interventions across life course to improve the social determinants of health; and to address mental health stigma and discrimination that very often serve as barriers for people seeking services and support available to them,” says the statement.
Previous reports by the UN Human Rights office highlights that people with mental health conditions and those with psychosocial disabilities experience disproportionately higher rates of poor physical health and reduced life expectancy. According to the Ministry of Health, here in Malawi stigma is a significant determinant of quality care and access to the full range of services required.
The Ministry of Health has asked all citizens to join and support the government, civil societies and non-governmental organizations that are working to make mental health a priority in communities throughout the nation.
Meanwhile, to mark the commemorations of the World Mental Health Day and the celebration that Zomba Mental Hospital has clocked 70 years, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with its partners has organized an event that is taking place today at Zomba Mental Hospital Ground in Zomba.