Type to search

GZU opens mobile mental health clinic

Latest Zim Universities/College Research Projects

GZU opens mobile mental health clinic




MASVINGO-Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) has established a mobile mental health clinic to decentralize the provision of mental health services which are normally found at few psychiatric institutions.
The mobile clinic is a project of the Department of Psychology under the Julius Nyerere School of Social Sciences.
The department’s chairperson and educational psychologist Zivanai Samson confirmed the development to The Mirror and said the mobile clinic was established last year.
The department’s clinical psychologist and lecturer Emmanuel Maziti said they are carrying out the project in partnership with Friendship Bench, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) specializing in mental health counselling.
Friendship Bench has also been capacitating students and community health workers with basic counselling skills. The training workshops are being held at Chevron, A Regency Group hotel.
Mental health services are highly centralized at psychiatric institutions in major cities which include Ngomahuru in Masvingo, Ingutsheni in Bulawayo and Annex in Harare. Private counselling is out of the reach of most patients in need of it.
Maziti said they are focusing on common mental disorders which include depression and anxiety.
He said their outreach was offering post disaster counselling to the Chingwizi villagers in Mwenezi who were affected with displacements which paved way to the Tugwi-Mukosi Dam project. He added that they have gone on to offer mental health services within the institution and surrounding urban environs.
Maziti also added that they are working on roping in students to offer such services to their counterparts and anyone in need of mental health services.
“We realized that mental health clinics in Zimbabwe are centralized. There are no such services provided in districts and rural hospitals, yet that is where the general people who need such services reside,” said Maziti.
He said their motto as a clinic is ‘There is no health without mental health’.
Maziti also said the advent of COVID-19 exacerbated the mental health situation in the country which has seen an upsurge in drug and substance abuse, suicides, domestic violence and incompatibility of people in marriages. He said it is now important that mental health services be decentralized to the general citizenry.
He appealed to the corporate world to capacitate the clinic in order for it to offer its services to other districts and provinces.
“We are calling upon the corporate world to chip in and capacitate the clinic with resources or whatever they can assist with. We are also appealing to them to partner the clinic to continue sensitizing and reaching out to communities they have not yet offered services to. Mental health affects productivity in every organization, working relations and the economy in general. The burden has been very big,” he said.
He also reiterated that with the economic meltdown, medication for mental health is scarce at public hospitals and they intend to take the campaign to local schools where they will also offer career guidance and counselling using psychological tools to assess interest and potential.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Enjoy our stories? Please spread the word: