A mental Health activist Chishipe Mwelwa has bemoaned the inadequate funding for mental health management and services in the country.
Ms.Mwelwa who is also Executive Director for National Organisation for Women Against mental Health Related Illnesses ( NOWAMHRI ) says government should consider increasing its budget allocation to mental health from the current one percent allocation of the Health bill.
ZANIS reports that Ms. Mwelwa said during an interview that mental health treatment should be prioritized on equal terms like other illnesses such as malaria and y especially in the work place.
Ms. Mwelwa said there should be a deliberate policy to ensure that the rights of people affected mentally are looked into as communities often times discriminate and harass the mentally ill and their families.
The NOWAMHRI Executive Director said in order to fight mental health related issues there is need to fight the root causes of the mental disability.
When the root causes are addressed it is easy to fight this vice and create a better future for every citizenry in the country, she said.
Ms. Mwelwa however said this can only be done with adequate finance and support from all well-meaning Zambians and the Civil Society.
She said stigma and discrimination for the mentally challenged persons has also been at the toll of the fight against this fight, adding that patients are shunning from going to health facilities.
Ms. Mwelwa attributed the major causes of mental health to divorce, bullying, drug and alcohol abuse, peer pressure and high poverty levels.