Mental health affects how people handle stress, relate to one another and make decisions. It influences the ways individuals look at themselves, their lives, and others in their lives. Like physical health, mental health is important at every stage of life. It is a psychological treatment that includes a variety of therapies such as: advice from a psychiatrist, psychotherapy (talking with a mental health professional), referral to rehabilitation basket program, training for family members of the person facing mental difficulties and more.

Mental Health facilities are charged with developing comprehensive and integrated services to meet the behavioural health needs of people. Their treatments are provided by licensed professionals with credentials in psychology, psychotherapy, social work, substance abuse counselling and biochemistry. By providing an excellent and patient centred service, mental health facilities promote patient stabilisation and empowerment and community integration. Their goal is to help patients achieve the highest level of functional capacity and personal growth.

With approximately one in four experiencing a mental illness at some point in their lives, having access to the right treatment and support in a therapeutic, safe and healing environment is vital to help people recover as soon as possible. Mental health problems can range from a low or sad period to a more serious depression, with a small number of people going on to experience severe mental health problems. Health facilities in Zambia have effectively combined comprehensive and progressive psychotherapy with the best holistic practices. They provide a wide range of community and hospital based mental health services, and these services have seen dramatic changes and developments over the years. Patients are assured of receiving the best possible care and treatment. The largest facility in Zambia is the government owned Chainama Mental Hospital.

Mental health treatments

Psychotherapy – This is provided by a trained mental health professional. It explores thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, and seeks to improve an individual’s well-being. Psychotherapy paired with medication is the most effective way to promote recovery.

Medication – This treatment does not completely cure mental illness. However, it may help with the management of symptoms. Medication combined with psychotherapy is the most effective way to promote recovery.

Hospitalisation – In certain circumstances, this may be necessary so that an individual can be closely monitored, accurately diagnosed or have medications adjusted when his/her mental illness temporarily worsens.

Support group – A group meeting where members guide each other towards the shared goal of recovery. Support groups often consist of non-professionals, but peers that have suffered from similar experiences.

Self-help plan – A unique health plan where an individual addresses his/her condition by implementing strategies that promote wellness. Self-help plans may involve addressing wellness, recovery, triggers or warning signs.

Peer support – This is when a patient receives help from individuals who have suffered from similar experiences.