NGO seeks to heighten awareness on mental health problems

THE Family Vibes Foundation (FVF) will next week organise a national forum for creating shared understanding on mental health problems, including depression.

The national conference is expected to be held in Dar es Salaam on July 11 this year, the FVF Executive Director Dr Mayrose Majinge told the ‘Sunday News’ recently.

She said the event will be graced by the Muhimbili National Hospital’s (MNH) Executive Director, Prof Mohamed Janabi.

Ms Majinge said through that conference many Tanzanians will get the right information on how to better handle mental health related disorders such as stress and fear via using proper stress management and problem-solving skills.

She hinted that poor mental health is caused by excessive hatred, unemployment, fear and stress.

Dr Majinge said the conference will bring together various health stakeholders, including specialist doctors from the MNH, Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI), Temeke Referral Hospital and Mwananyamala Referal Hospital.

“This conference is expected to be attended by various specialists, including psychiatrists who will conduct free health checkups and provide medical advice to people who are in need,” she said.

Recently, the Minister for Health, Ms Ummy Mwalimu challenged health stakeholders to focus on preventive measures to address mental health challenges following an increase in the number of people who face the problem.

ccording to Ms Mwalimu, international statistics show that in every eight people, one person faces a mental health challenge. She said Tanzania is estimated to have seven million people with various mental health diseases.

“In Tanzania, we are estimated to have seven million people with various mental health conditions, including that caused by drug abuse,” she said.

In the course, she highlighted other mental health conditions that occur mostly in the country, including depression and schizophrenia and several others which are caused by excessive consumption of alcohol and other drugs.

According to her, among the seven million people with mental health problems, more than one and a half million are living with depression, most of them being women.

She stressed on investment in mental health by recruiting mental health experts in all dispensaries and health centres, as well as improving the health systems in the country.

“Let’s discuss how to establish wellness centres in every part of the country, so that the community can get medical care easily and also provide enough jobs for mental health and psychology experts,” she told stakeholders in the workshop.

Outlining the efforts made by the government in mitigating the challenges of mental health, the Deputy Minister for Community Development, Gender, Women and Special Groups, Ms Mwanaidi Ali Khamis said the government has already prepared the national guidelines to provide psychological support in the country.

She said the guideline aims to enable mental health and psychology experts to provide services from individual to family level as well as society as a whole.

She detailed further that the ministry in collaboration with the President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government has empowered 73 councils and committees for the protection and safety of women and children on the provision of psychological services to the community, especially during disasters.

Speaking earlier, World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative Tanzania, Dr Zabulon Yoti, unveiled that according to the 2019 World report on mental health which was launched in June this year, it shows that one in a hundred deaths globally resulted from suicide, with more than 50 per cent of cases occurring before the age of 50.

He added that the productive group was vulnerable to mental health and resulted in death as well.

“Depression is one of the leading causes of disability. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds. People with severe mental health conditions die prematurely as much as two decades early due to preventable physical conditions.” Dr Yoti said.

Related Articles

Back to top button