Malawi is slowly creeping into a dangerous place where more people are being tormented by mental health problems, Mental Health expert has warned.
Prof. Chiwoza Bandawe was making a presentation to hundreds of fitness enthusiasts who attended an aerobathom event at the College of Medicine in Blantyre on Saturday.
He said financial hiccups, marriage breakdown and frustration have pushed more people into mental illnesses and most of them don't realize that.
"Just like any other physical illness, you can also know the lapses in your mental wellness through feeling dejected, lack of sleep, anxiety, the individual withdraws from normal gatherings and often take antidepressant substances such as alcohol and worse still drugs and depend on them which is dangerous," he said.
The event was organized by a Lilongwe based fitness outfit called the Sweat Factory Fitness Studio housed at the Bingu National Stadium.
"We wanted to use fitness event to raise awareness of mental health issues. We normally come across such individuals who come to seek tailormade fitness classes and when they open up, they talk about the path they going through, that's why we though many people need to be sensitized about these developments," said Marriam Matola, Founder of the Sweat Factory Fitness Studio.
Together with an upcoming fitness instructor, TV Personality and PR Practitioner Tamara Chafunya, the team managed to raise materials worth K3.5 million which will be donated to the Zomba Mental Hospital this coming weekend.
"The Zomba Mental Hospital is one of the few facilities available in Malawi and are assisting those with severe cases of mental illnesses. When we spoke to the facility's management they gave us a list of things they will need. So we decided to approach several partners in raising those needs to cater for 200 patients," Chafunya said.
Amongst the materials raised are blankets, bed sheets, laundry and bathing, cooking Oil, Sugar, Salt and body lotions.
Partners to the first of the series of awareness and material mobilization drive are NBS Bank, Amaryllis Hotel Blantyre, Vital Water, Sana Cash and Carry, Lucky One Cash and Carry, EDN Lines Limited, IntoSports, Events Republic and other individuals.
"We still asking those whom we did not reach out to initially but they are aware of this event now, they can still provide their material support because we will need plastic dining chairs and tables and pails buckets to mention a few," she said.