Zambian Government To Increase Budget Allocation For Mental Health
Mental Health is one of the most underrated topics in the world. Oftentimes, we tend to ignore the signs of infected patients, dismissing them as if what our family members or friends are experiencing is nothing important. We’ll only regret not giving some time, attention, and the support system they need when it’s too late.
It’s dreadful and heartbreaking to see people who fall into depression and despair. What’s worse is that if their mental illness motivates them not only to harm themselves but the others too. That’s why the Zambian government takes lead and puts more and more attention to mental health!
Zambian Government Increases its Budget Allocation to Address Mental Health Illness
Chishipe Mwelwa, a Zambian activist for mental health, has been protesting against the government because of its insufficient funding for mental health. She urged the government to increase its budget allocation to address the rising rate of mental health patients. She protested that the current 1% budget allocation as stated in the Health bill was way too low than the budgets received by other departments.
She also reiterated, during an interview, that mental health illness should be treated like any other illness. Mental health is a serious illness that disrupts your brain from functioning well. If left untreated, it can lead to other disease and complications and even an untimely death.
The Executive Director for National Organization for Women Against mental Health Related Illnesses, or NOWAMHRI, also facilitates the policy to protect the wellness and rights of mental health patients. She emphasized that these mental health patients should also be treated equally by its surrounding community. Most of the times, the victims face discrimination, harassment, and bullying from their families and friends.
The Executive Director Wishes to Address the Underlying Root Cause of Mental Health Illnesses
She believes that in order to fight against mental health illness, the government and the society should identify the root cause of such illnesses. Several factors of root causes such as divorce, drug and substance abuse, bullying, peer pressure, poverty are often identified to the victims. After identifying the problem, the next step is to solve the problem by providing the best medical facilities to treat their patients. When the root cause has been addressed, only then we can fight the vices and provide a better future to our citizens.
Ms. Mwelwa, however, was delighted to know that her protest has finally paid off. It seems the Zambians and its Civil Society groups are supporting her cause. The Congress is set to discuss her appeal and increase the budget allocation for Mental Health. It’s now all a waiting game on when these changes in the Health Bill will be implemented.
What Will Happen to the Zambian Mental Health Patients Now?
While the current bicameral Congress meeting for budget allocation is currently on-going, Ms. Mwelwa hopes that the budget allocation plea will be granted. It’ll be a great help for the patients to receive solid support from the government for their treatment and recovery. Ms. Mwelwa also pledged that she’ll continue her advocacy in spreading mental health awareness and treating the patients with utmost care. She’ll continue to fight the discriminations and stigma these mental health patients are facing in this modern world. And if you could also help, the better. In fact, she encouraged everyone to play their part in Mental Health.
If you know someone who’s mentally ill or depressed, approach them and extend your help.
Be there to listen when they need you the most. Always make your presence known to them. Give them advice on how to cope with the struggle or battles they’re currently fighting. Just stay by their side and become their listener. If you find yourself unable to help any longer, you can just become their support system while you seek professional help.
If you’re depressed, never be afraid to seek professional help and support system from your family and friends. Never be afraid to admit that you need help because you really need one. Recognizing the problem that you’re depressed is the first step towards recovery. Your family will be able to help you seek the best professional help in order to overcome depression. Your friends can become your support system. Ms. Mwelwa believes that if everyone will just do their part, we can eradicate mental health illness sooner than later.
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