“It is high time societies embraced people who suffer from various mental health illnesses by properly motivating and respecting their dignity.”

YONECO Mental Health Nurse, Alex Mbewe, made the call when YONECO, in conjunction with Zomba Mental Hospital, visited some selected villages around the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Mlumbe in Zomba district.

The visit, which was conducted under Passing and Supporting; Building Tactics for Community Mental Health Care project, was aimed at monitoring the progress of individuals who have been receiving mental health treatment over a given period of time.

According to Mbewe, most people who are mentally ill face isolation in their communities and they are also stigmatized; leading to depressions among the affected individuals.

“Most people who are mentally ill are isolated from their communities by their families, and friends. As such, they need to be motivated so they can be living a positive life for most of them look down upon themselves,” observes he.

Agreeing with Mbewe, Senior Disease Control Surveillance Assistant for Thondwe Health Center, Grey Phiri, bemoaned the tendency of ill-treating people with mental health problems as something that worsens the people’s condition aside from being a human rights violation.

On her part, Angelina Chilumpha, one of medical specialists at Zomba Mental Hospital said chiefs should take a big role in promoting care and support for people who suffer from mental health illness at community level. Chilumpoha further added that it is the role of relatives and traditional leaders should also ensure that people who have mental health problems are taking prescribed medical drugs.

By Lonjezo Idrissa.

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