Lifeline Malawi in mental health prevention initiative

Mhango (right)

Lifeline Malawi has embarked on a project to increase knowledge on suicide prevention and improve access to mental health services and information.

The project is being piloted in Chiradzulu, Blantyre and Zomba citing these have high number of recorded cases and that Zomba has the only mental hospital. 

The target in the district is the whole population as suicide has not left out a section.

Henderson Mhango, Deputy Director for Lifeline Malawi said the project will be implemented in two phases for a period of six months each.

The Dec meeting in Chiradzulu
The Dec meeting. Pictures by Pemphero Musowa 

"Suicide prevention and helping suicide attempt victims by lobbying government to remove section 229 which criminilises attempted suicide."

Mhango explained the interventions they plan to undertake include training champions to help in psychosocial and mental health prevention.

"We will train 20 champions randomly in each district and then we will use the champions to deliver messages.

"Those trained will also be given phones as helplines connected to hospitals and health centers to avert situations."

Mhango said they will work with partners such as district hospitals, health centers, police and opinion leaders.

Lifeline Malawi is an affiliate of Lifeline international which works in 25 countries.