Amiso Counselling Service, a shoulder to lean in times of social and psychological needs, has highlighted lack of teen friendly mental health services as one of the contributing factors to the increase in suicide cases among adolescents in the county.
Malawi, one of the poorest countries in Africa, has only one public mental hospital in Zomba and few privately-owed mental health facilities.
Ganizani Lameck Misomali, the Team Leader for Zomba based Amiso Counselling Service which offers counseling and guidance to adolescents, made the observation on Thursday in an exclusive interview with the publication.
“Malawi is experiencing worrisome increase in adolescent suicide cases. This increase is a complex issue with multiple contributing factors.
“Some of the reasons include heightened academic pressures, harmful parental corrective measures, lack of teen friendly mental health services, access to lethal means, and the influence of social media and technology,” said Misomali
According to Misomali, Parents, caregiver and teachers need also to understand that adolescents have emotions too hence the need to handle them with caution.
He also asked institutions dealing with psychological well-being need to find innovative, affordable and attractive approaches that will make more adolescents participate and open up.
Misomali then called upon government, parents and others stakeholders to invest in mental well-being of adolescents as one way of dealing with suicide cases.
“We have a long way to go as far as mental wellness is concerned. Mental Health needs to be taken as important as any other health issues.
Parents, government, NGO’s and private institutions need to deliberately invest in mental well-being of adolescents in the country,” he appealed.
Meanwhile, Amiso Counseling Service, which is also a member of Malawi Association of Counseling, says it is planning to reach out to about 1,500 adolescent by the end of this year.
“Since we have been operational for 6 months only, adolescent who reached our counseling centre are 29 and all in the last four months of the period,”
We have now put in place new strategies enabling us to reach a target of 1,500 adolescents by the end of 2024,” disclosed Misomali
Everyone feels stressed sometimes—it’s just part of life. But what can make a big difference is having the courage to get help from a mental health expert or psychologist/therapist.
Talking to a counselor in a safe and private place can do wonders for your health.
Contact Amiso Counselling Service today via phone on 0889 855 523 or email them on firstname.lastname@example.org; you can also visit their website www.amisomw.com and Facebook name: Amiso Counselling Services.
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