This came out when health advisor in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Dr Timothy Stamps, welcomed charity runner, Nell English, to Victoria Falls yesterday.
English conducted a charity run that lasted 16 days from Harare to Victoria Falls.
She arrived in the resort town on Saturday.
English, a Zimbabwean based in Barcelona, Spain, where she works as an interpreter and English teacher, seeks to raise $10,000 to donate for mental health care in Zimbabwe.
Dr Stamps said mental problems that are caused by among other factors poverty, unemployment and stress pose a great challenge for the country.
“We shouldn’t be frightened by mental health, let’s embrace people with mental illness and talk about it,” he said.
“Mental health issues are ignored in the media. The media sometimes contribute to stress and mental problems through their reporting which should be positive about social issues to avoid stressing people.”
“There are only 12 psychiatrists countrywide to save the whole population. As Hwange district we’ve 153 people on our register who are being monitored and that’s only reported cases otherwise there are many whose condition isn’t known and are not in the system,” said the District Medical Officer for Hwange Dr Wisdom Kurauone who accompanied Dr Stamps.
English, 37, said it was imperative to give due care to mental cases.
“The importance of the run is to raise funds for mental health in Zimbabwe because it doesn’t get the publicity it deserves. I believe everyone knows someone who has a mental problem and we need to build confidence in them. I wanted to raise $1,000 initially but have raised $6,600 now which I hope will rise to $10, 000,” said English.
She arrived in Victoria Falls on Saturday and ran through to the Rainforest before concluding the charity run at Victoria Falls District Hospital where she was welcomed by personnel from the Ministry of Health and Child Care and scores of residents. chronicle
ZIMBABWE has a critical shortage of psychiatrists with only 12 specialists qualified to provide service to the whole country.Dr Stamps launched a Trust for people living with chronic conditions three years ago.