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NGOs Drum Up Support for Persons with Mental Health Conditions

Participants after the workshop Participants after the workshop - pic by Hastings Jimani

Two Mental Health Campaigners; Support Comprehensive Care and Empowerment for people with Psychosocial Disability (SUCCEED) and the Mental Health Users and Carers Association (MeHUCA) have called for continued support towards the economic empowerment of mental health patients.

The two organizations are implementing a Community Based Rehabilitation project in Mulanje District. It is a pilot project of four months.

MeHUCA and SUCCEED organized a two day workshop for the district mental health forum in Mulanje district before holding a sensitization meeting on protection of rights of persons with mental illness on Thursday at Chimwaza in the same district.

Executive Director of the Mental Health Users and Carers Association (MeHUCA), Memory Bismarck told Zodiak Online that there is continued discrimination against persons with mental health conditions such that they are not allowed to participate in socioeconomic activities in their communities.

She said this aggravates their conditions.

Bismarck called for support towards the economic empowerment of mental health patients.

“It is very significant to support these people economically as you know that sometimes our public health facilities run short of essential drugs and as a result we register a lot of relapses. Now if these people are economically empowered, they will be able to buy drugs at pharmacies,” said Bismarck.

SUCCEED Project Manager, Janet Mambulasa said the project is looking at recovery of mental health patients beyond hospital.

“We have four components in these project and these are case management, peer support, livelihood and community engagement,” said Mambulasa.

She said in this project, they are involving people that have lived experience, those who had a condition and they are on their way to recovery or some have recovered.  

The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of United Kingdom is supporting implementation of the project through the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

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