Written by Fretcher Mandala Chiponda:
In Nkhotakota, youths are citing lack of information, guidance, and counselling as critical challenges contributing to the increased mental health issues in the lakeshore district.
This was brought to light Tuesday during an engagement meeting with Nkhotakota Youth Network. The meeting was organized by Umunthu FM as part of a six-month mental health campaign funded by Shift the Power program which is being implemented by Tilitonse Foundation in partnership with Comic Relief, and UKAID.
The primary objective of the meeting was to gather insights and understand the current state of mental well-being among the youth, given that statistics indicate they are the most affected group.
Ibrahim Saidi, a member of the youth network, lamented the situation, stating, “Mental health problems are rampant due to lack of guidance and information on available resources and coping mechanisms and strategies to improve mental well-being among the youths”.
Saidi urged stakeholders to prioritize the youth and provide them with proper information on mental health issues to help address the challenge.
Furthermore, Saidi commended Umunthu FM for initiating this campaign and expressed hope that such engagements would lead to positive changes, fostering a more supportive and understanding environment for those who are struggling.
The six-month mental health campaign aims to improve governance and organization structure, development of organization-relevant policies, holding a series of community engagement meetings to identify needs in the area of mental health among the youth in Nkhotakota.