First Lady Esther Lungu has commended the Ministry of Health for embarking on repealing the archaic mental disorders act of 1951 and drafting a new Mental Health Bill.
Mrs Lungu said the new mental health bill will help modernise legislation, eliminate stigma and discrimination, and promote autonomy and Human rights for persons living with mental disorders.
ZANIS reports that Mrs Lungu was speaking when she officiated at the commemoration of the World Mental Health Day held in Lusaka today.
The First Lady observed that there is need to accelerate awareness and sensitization on Mental Health and Mental Disorders especially at grassroots level.
She noted that mental health crisis and distresses are viewed differently because of ignorance, poor knowledge, stigma and discrimination.
Mrs Lungu has since urged government to buy-into the major objectives of the action plan by strengthening information systems and research for mental health.
And speaking at the same occasion, Mental Health Users Network of Zambia president Sylvester Katotoka urged society to come to the aid of mental patients as they face a lot of challenges.
Meanwhile Munali Member of Parliament Professor Nkandu Luo who was represented by Matero Member of Parliament Lloyd Kaziya said mental health patients are discriminated against in society.
Prof. Luo who is also Minister of Higher Education said there is urgent need for society to embrace mental health patients and help them integrate into communities than consigning them in mental institutions.