Connect Plus Resource Institute (CPRI) has asked Malawians to take advantage of the Mental Health Awareness Month to reflect and find solutions to increasing cases of suicide and mental health problems.
CPRI is a local social enterprise organization dedicated to providing mental health and wellness services and solutions in Malawi.
On Friday this week, the organization is scheduled to Mental Health Awareness Month, which will be observed throughout the month of October under the theme: ‘Together making mental health a part of our everyday life’.
The events of Mental Health Awareness Month will coincide with the World Mental Health Day, which is observed on October 10 each year. The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day is ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’.
Malawi has recently registered a sudden rise in suicide cases, a development mental health experts have attributed the absence of psychosocial support services in most parts of the country.
Speaking in an interview on Wednesday, CPRI Chief Executive Officer Dennis Mwafulirwa said the purpose of the Mental Health Awareness Month is to help create a space to normalize conversations around mental health and mental illness.
Mwafulirwa added that the month will serve to promote mental health literacy, engage media on best practices in reporting mental health and suicide related news to help strengthen understanding of these issues by the public, debunk related myths or misconceptions and reduce stigma, and mobilize collective action in support of mental health and wellness in the country.
“On October 10, we plan a Mental Health Walk which will start from Lilongwe Community Centre at 1:00pm,” he said.
He said a lot of people in Malawi and around the world today face the reality of living with a mental health condition/illness.
“It is estimated that close to 1 billion people worldwide are living with a mental disorder, three million people die every year from the harmful use of alcohol, and one person dies every 40 seconds by suicide. This reality of mental health needs and challenges has been heightened during the Covid-19 pandemic, with many people impacted. Now more than ever, as a country we are faced with a challenge of addressing this growing public health issue that has been neglected for far too long,” he said.