Secretary for Education, Science and Technology Dr Mcphail Magwira has said Malawi needs more training in mental health, especially among the youth, to reduce problems of depression, which slows down development.
Magwira said the youth between 19 and 25 years are more vulnerable to psychiatric problems, which make them easily lose concentration and become irrelevant to national development.
“An estimated 30 percent of 10 to 19-year-olds suffer from neuro-psychiatric conditions worldwide. About 70 percent of all mental disorders can be diagnosed prior to 25 years, yet mental health services globally are normally focused on adult populations,” said Magwira.
He spoke during a daylong day Mental Health Innovations Stakeholders meeting at Malawi Institute of Management in Lilongwe on Tuesday.
The meeting was organised by Guidance, Counselling and Youth Development Centre for Africa (GCYDCA) in collaboration with Farm Radio International, Farm Radio Malawi and Dr. Stan Kutcher, a mental expert from Canada.
GCYDCA executive director Professor Kenneth Hamwaka said the meeting was organised for the stakeholders to find solutions on how mental health problems in the youth can be prevented before it affects them.
“It’s a programme whose aim is to find interventions and train the youth in how they can avoid mental problems and those interventions will come from this meeting,” he said.
Farm Radio International director Kevin Perkins said the whole programme will consume two million Canadian dollars (about K700 million). It will take place in Malawi and Zambia.