An organisation that supports struggling individuals and charities fight mental disability in poverty-stricken communities of Africa on Saturday gave cheers to mental patients by hosting a Christmas luncheon in Harare.
The luncheon by The Charity Projects was held at Highfield Methodist Church.
According to the organisers, the event was a platform to create awareness of mental health and encourage pro social behaviours in the Zimbabwean society.
It targeted children living with mental disabilities.
The event was also a platform to educate the primary caregivers and families as they are at risk of developing mental health problems.
This is caused by not being equipped and the emotional demands of supporting a person living with mental disabilities.
The Charity Projects is working with patients in desperate need of diagnosis, food, education, and the full implementation of the Mental Health and Disability programme.It provided the families, primary care givers and the community with the information and tools to better support the person in their life with mental health disabilities, and themselves.
According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) report, the government has demonstrated modest support for mental health services through the development of the National Mental Health Strategy for Zimbabwe 2016 – 2020 and the limited allocation of funds for mental health.
Of the total health budget, 0.42% is allocated to mental health.
Public spending on mental health is estimated at US$0.13 per capita each year.Zimbabwe established the Mental Health Act of 1996 and Regulations of 1999 to cater for mental health patients amid calls for the review of the legislation.
The Act includes protocols for managing patients who require treatment against their will.
It also describes the benefit of free treatment for all people with mental disorders at public institutions, WHO said.“However, stakeholders suggested that as of January 2020, mental health patients at public institutions now pay for services, though no patients are turned away because of inability to pay,” it said.