30% Health Care Seekers Have Depression

As Malawi today joins the rest of the world in commemorating world mental health day, it has been revealed that between 20-30% of patients who seek primary health care in the country’s health facilities tend to have depression.

Assistant Director of Clinical Services responsible for mental health in the Ministry of Health, Michael Udedi, told Zodiak Online that most depressions if left unchecked leads to mental illness.

"Unfortunately, some depressed people end up committing suicide," said Udedi.

He said it is important that people who are depressed are attended to through counselling as urgent as possible to prevent them from committing suicide.

"We applaud organizations that are supporting government through various mental health programs and projects," said Udedi.

Meanwhile, Malawi Council for the Handicapped (MACOHA) has noted with concern use of demeaning words against persons with mental health.

MACOHA Executive Director, Georgina Navicha, says mental health which she describes as a psychosocial disability is as an illness just like any other disease.

"We at MACOHA strongly condemn Stigma and discrimination against persons with mental health," said Navicha

This year’s world mental health day has been commemorated under the theme “Mental health promotion and suicide prevention”.

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