Ntcheu District Hospital has expressed concern over the district’s growing number of mental health cases arising from substance abuse.
Ntcheu district hospital acting mental health coordinator Diana Mputeni said this on Saturday at Masitimale during a Malawi Council of the Handicapped (Macoha) supported awareness event on mental health.
“We see about 300 people every month at the out-patient department with psychiatric conditions or mental disorders and most of them are caused by substance abuse, especially excessive beer drinking,” she said.
Mputeni said they admit about 20 men and five women with psychiatric problems every month.
“However, there are three psychiatric nurses and one technician against a population of over 600 000 people, thereby crippling outreach and static psychiatric clinics,” she said.
Macoha mental health coordinator Japhet Muyaba said they partnered Mental Health Users and Carers (Mhuca) with support from Community Blind Mission (CBM) International and Comic Relief to reduce stigma and discrimination among mental health patients.
“Mental health is a psycho-social disability; hence, Macoha is integrating mental health care within the already existing community-based rehabilitation programme to give skills and knowledge on mental health to enhance awareness and promote mental health,” he said.