The Botswana Network for Mental Health (BONMEH) has asked stakeholders to channel resources towards programs for mental health and the expedition of policies and legislation.
Speaking at the commemoration of the World Mental Health Day last week, BONMEH founder, Charity Kiki Kennedy, said it’s time for the division of mental health to stand alone as a Department or an Agency in order for change to be quick.
Kennedy together with other mental health awareness advocates said there was a need for greater access to mental health services funds to be availed and also have comprehensive structures pushing towards mental health.
BONMEH is a civil society organization that was founded in 2014 to empower communities on mental health and develop a strategic intent and direction for mental health.
She applauded the Botswana government for the efforts made in this area but noted that there is need for structures that can scale up mental health services for better service delivery looking at the upsurge in numbers of suicides, gender based violence, child abuse, adjustment disorders and anxiety or pre- existing mental health problems that have been exacerbated by the Covid 19 pandemic.
“Limited resources on the ground remain a challenge as currently there are no suicide hotlines, no national mental health promotional programs for prevention, no policies on mental health in the workplace and for adolescents and young people,” noted Kennedy.
Kennedy also stated that suicide is said to be the second leading cause of death amongst young people aged between 15-29 year,and that depression is projected to become the number one leading disease by 2030 if no interventions are put in place to curb this.