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Mental Health Workshop
Mental Health Workshop - 31/08/09

The Acting Director of department of Public Health in the Ministry of Health, Mr Setshwano Mokgweetsinyana says mental health disorders know no borders and does not discriminate.
Mr Mokgweetsinyana said this when officially opening a workshop for professionals in mental health in Gaborone.

He said Botswana like any other countries in the region has its own share of mental health and psychosocial problems, adding that the unfortunate thing is that though effective interventions are available for mental disorders they are not always accessible to the majority of those who need them.

Mr Mokgweetsinyana also said health and socio economic development are interrelated and thus mental health services should not solely be concerned with mental illness but should recognize and address the border issues affecting the mental health of all sectors of society, across the lifespan.
He further said that their main focus should be the integration of mental health into primary care, reducing the marginalization of mental health in general services and reduction of the stigmatization and exclusion of people with mental disorder.

He also called upon the workshop participants that as government has invested heavily in health infrastructure, therefore it is incumbent upon them to ensure that Batswana access mental health services.
Mr Mokgweetsinyana also said that the government through the Ministry of Health has developed a National Policy on Mental Health with the overall aim of improving the mental health and reducing the burden of mental disorders in the population of Botswana.

On other issues, Mr Mokgweetsinyana expressed concern on the abuse of substances such as alcohol, adding the workshop participants that the prevention and control of substance abuse should be treated as a priority in their area of work.

The main objective of the five day workshop which is attended by health professionals was to develop leadership skills for the planning and promotion of community based mental health programs integrated into primary health care.
It was held under the theme " Leadership Development for Mental Health Care."

Mr Temba Sibanda
Principal Public Relations Officer
For/ Permanent Secretary

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