Traditional Leaders Challenged on Mental Health Awareness
Traditional Leaders in Salima have been implored to take an active role in sensitizing their subjects about mental Health issues which is becoming a serious public health issue of concern.
According to District Medical Officer for Salima Dr. George Kasondo who was speaking on the sideline of community awareness meeting on mental health in the district organized by Malawi Council for the Hand capped MACOHA.
Dr. George Kasondo unless members of the public are made aware of Mental Health illness and that they can be treated it will remain a big challenge.
“The way we perceive these conditions it’s that we have not yet integrated into our systems, they face a lot of challenges and they are neglected in the societymaking their problems to worsen” Kasondo said.
He blames stigma and discrimination for fueling the cases leading to some people committing suicide.
Meanwhile MACOHA Mental Health project Coordinator Japhet Myaba says stigma and discrimination remains a serious problem affecting people with mental health problems.
He said there is need for collaborated efforts if citizens will understand and begin to take care of people with mental problems.
“We need to raise awareness in the community for people to know the signs of people wanting to commit suicide or just to know a person with mental health problems so that they can refer them to the hospital.” Said Myaba.
Senior chief Kalonga of Salima has since pledged to take his subject head on and encourage village headmen to take up the task in their village and punish those discriminating against people with mental health problems.