Zimbabwe’s vice president Constantino Chiwenga.

ZIMBABWE has launched a Special Initiative for Mental Health and the Zimbabwe Mental Health Investment Case as part of efforts to boost the country’s national response strategy to mental health.

The advent of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic has brought to the fore the need to raise awareness and create synergies to mobilise resources for the national response strategy on mental health.

In a virtual launch, vice president Constantino Chiwenga said the investment case would provide a framework that will work as an advocacy tool for the improvement of mental health in the country.

“The mental health case is used mainly as an advocacy tool providing quantified evidence of long-term health, social, and economic benefits of investment in mental health.

“The mental health investment case will be aligned with the framework of the special initiative for mental health and used to support its goals.

“This will help to mobilise funding and actions in support of behaviours that improve the mental health status of all Zimbabweans,” said the Chiwenga

The rampant abuse of drugs, particularly among youths, has been cited as a major contributor to the deteriorating physical and mental well-being of citizens.

Drug abuse among youth is an issue that needs to be addressed seriously, Chiwenga said.

Drug abuse acts as a deterrent to life as well as a factor affecting mental health. It plays a devastating role in the deterioration of both physical and mental wellness.

The initiative is being supported by the Russian Federation, with the Deputy Head of Mission for Zimbabwe, Uri Yuzhaninov, saying his country was committed to the global fight against non-communicable diseases and mental health.

Meanwhile, United Nations Resident Coordinator Maria Ribeiro said the initiative would also assist in Zimbabwe attain its vision 2030 and the National Development Strategy One.

Zimbabwe’s mental health is governed by the Mental Health Act of 1996, with four boards overseeing the sector, including the Mental Health Board, Mlondozi, Chikurubi Special Board and the Mental Health Review Tribunal. – Daily News