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Government conducts training to Address Mental Health

The County Government of Busia in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH) through the Division of Mental Health is conducting training for healthcare workers on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support.

The Division of Mental Health representative Jacqueline Aloo said that the capacity building targets to ensure that the workers are able to support themselves during a crisis.

She said that many of the health personnel who were the front-line soldiers in the fight against Covid-19 went through mental health stress, adding that there is a need to have a wellness team from within the County that will respond to mental issues.

“The current global economic crisis is expected to produce adverse mental health effects that may increase suicide and alcohol-related cases among the youths and vulnerable families in the country,” noted Aloo.

The Chief Officer Health and Sanitation Jonathan Ino, reaffirmed the Departments’ commitment to improve mental health in the County for the benefit of residents, adding that it is a critical component that will be factored in the budget to manage depression cases.

“The determinants of mental health often lie outside of the remits of the health system, and all sectors of society have to be involved in the promotion of mental health .We will capture it in the supplementary budget to take care of the issues related to mental health,” said Ino, during the opening of a 5 day training for the healthcare workers among them nurses on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support at the Chef West hotel in Busia town.

He noted that many people are suffering from depression triggered by various problems, among them the economic crisis, adding that the actualization of the Facility Improvement Fund (FIF) will cater for rising issues in health facilities.

The Chief Officer further reiterated the need for locals to preach peace during the electioneering period, underscoring the importance of candidates vying for various political positions to sell their manifesto instead of insulting others.

He said “Social welfare supports and active labour market programmes aiming at helping people retain or re-gain jobs can counteract the mental health effects of the economic crisis. Family support programmes can also make a difference. Alcohol pricing and restrictions of alcohol availability reduces alcohol harms and save lives”.

While the current economic crisis may have a major impact on mental health and increase mortality due to suicides and alcohol-related disorders, it is also a window of opportunity to reform mental health care and promote a mentally healthy lifestyle.

By Absalom Namwalo

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