This article was sponsored by Summit Care Trust
Summit Care Trust (SCT) joins the rest of the world in commemorating Mental Health week from today (Monday 10 May) to Saturday, 16 May.
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The community-based organisation has lined up a calendar of events aimed at bringing awareness about the effects and impact of Mental Health on families, corporate entities, civic society and communities.
Summit Care Trust Mental Health Advocate and Officer, Tanatswa Chikaura said Mental Health is prevalent in all sectors of societies and communities but often goes unattended to and worse still undetected yet the signs are right in front of us. Said Chikaura:
The week-long event aims to raise awareness about Mental Health in our country and to play a pivotal role in getting the country’s key stakeholders, which are: government, media and community, to put their shoulder to the wheel in the fight to put Mental Health to the fore. Our research has shown that there is a yawning treatment gap for Mental Health in Zimbabwe and Africa.
She said in 2017, a “Doctors Without Borders” Article stated that Zimbabwe has 20 registered Clinical Psychologists and 9 mental health institutions. With a population that is over 14 million, this means that majority of the Zimbabwean citizens do not have access to mental health facilities.
Chikaura said another point of major concern is that the majority of Zimbabweans cannot afford mental help therapy and in some instances, the institutions that offer therapy are not accessible to ordinary people.
This is a cause for concern and has been worsened by the menacing Covid-19 which has changed how people live, making mental health needs a priority. Chikaura said:
In our calendar of events throughout the week, will be broadcasting a discussion about the stakeholders’ roles in mental health conversations.
The commemorations will also highlight how mental well-being affects livelihoods, human rights, governance and advocacy and sexual and reproductive health rights.
We have lined up psychologists, lawyers, media personnel, teachers, medical doctors, parents and young people and adolescents to came and share their experiences on Mental Health.
Chikaura said the week’s events will also touch on the value of integrating mental health care into programs and policies.
The event will bring together community organisations that are fighting to have Mental Health recognized in our country, inspiring a united vision of a person’s right to dignity and right to care.
It will also bring to the fore personal experiences of mental health challenges with individuals openly sharing their experiences and in the end, acquire information on how best they can be assisted for sustainable solutions.
Summit Care Trust has four thematic areas which are; Adolescent, Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (ASRHR), Livelihoods, Human Rights and Governance and Advocacy.