Government has hinted that it will soon engage private sector psychologists to address the huge demand for mental health services in the country.
Speaking at the Consolidated Africa Services round-table workshop on mental health, Chief Director in the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Clifford Matorera said they approached parliament to ask for private psychologists to assist government.
“What we know is that 25% of adults are some point in their lives will suffer from a mental health disorder. There are other conditions which affect everyone for example depression which affects everyone for example depression which affects 18-20% for all women. It affects 10% of men,” said Matorera.
“As the government , we have a critical shortage of psychologists to assist us in programs that we do. We had to parliament to ask for private psychologists to assist the government,” Matorera said.
“We need more trained personnel to help our people deal with depression and other issues. Our livelihoods have resulted in many people suffering from depression and it is the reason have we have lots of suicide cases in our workplace and communities,” he added.
The shortage of psychologists in Zimbabwe has resulted in many people failing to deal with social ills in the country, a factor blamed for rising suicide cases.
The shortage of psychologists comes at a time when the country is experiencing increased cases of mental illnesses which include depression, anxiety, bipolar and schizophrenia.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care estimates that about 1, 3 million Zimbabweans have mental disorders and in 2017, the Ministry of Health and Child Care received only 10 percent of its requested budget for mental health resources.
Through the Ministry of Health and Child Care, government launched mental health discharge guidelines to reduce the number of patients who relapse after being discharged due to lack of healthcare and support systems.