National Strategic Plan for Mental Health Services 2019 - 2023
Ministry of Health and Child Care
Government of Zimbabwe
TypePlan or blueprint
MetadataShow full item record
Mental health is an integral part of health and is defined as “a state of mental well being where an individual realises their full potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life and can contribute productively to their community” (WHO). Mental health disorders therefore affect not only individual lives but their families, the communities they are part of and the nation’s social and economic progress. One in four people worldwide are affected by a mental or neurological disease in their lifetime making mental health disorders one of the leading causes of global disease burden (WHO). Depression is now the leading cause of disability affecting over 300 million people worldwide (Friedrich, 2017). Depression is also a major contributor to suicide which claims more than 800 000 lives a year and has become the second leading cause of death among young people (WHO, 2014). Substance use makes up a large proportion of the disease burden among young people (Gore, 2011). In Africa the prevalence of substance use is rising and the demand for treatment is high (Parry, 2004). Although effective treatments for most mental health disorders including depression and substance use exist, most patients do not get adequate help (Patel, 2010). This National Mental Health Strategic Plan of 2019 to 2023 follows the Zimbabwe National Strategic Plan for Mental Health Services of 2014 to 2018 which was based on the Zimbabwe National Mental Health Policy of 2007 before which mental health services had been guided by the Zimbabwe Mental Health Plan of Action of 1984. These previous policy and planning documents were all developed in consultation with various stakeholders as was done for this plan as well. This strategic plan aims to improve mental care in Zimbabwe by: improving the quality of our mental health service delivery and patient care in line with international best practice; improving mental health awareness and empowering our communities; promoting research and development of locally relevant, innovative solutions to challenges in our mental health system; reviewing our legislation in line with current international guidelines and strengthening our human resources through training and skills development. From 2019 to 2023 we will target several high priority areas including improving quality of care in all mental health units; mhGAP training of non specialist health workers to improve mental health care in primary care facilities; alcohol and substance use disorder treatment; community awareness of mental health issues as well as community participation in treatment. We hope through this strategic plan, to strengthen the mental health of our nation and improve the quality of life of many Zimbabweans affected by mental illness.
Ministry of Health and Child Care, Government of Zimbabwe
SubjectMental Health Services
Quality of care in mental health services
mental well being
Mental Health Disorders
National Mental Health Strategic plan
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