THE PSYCHTALK SERIES PROJECT Report 2018
A psychological initiative aiming to create meaningful conversations around mental health issues and to encourage help-seeking behaviors in dealing with Mental Health in the Kingdom of Eswatini.
Mental Health Eswatini
The Kingdom of Eswatini is a developing country with limited resources available for comprehensive mental health care services that adequately serve the mental health needs of our population. There is a need for increased access and availability of mental health care services at both preventative and curative levels. There is also a need to raise awareness about mental health issues in order to encourage help-seeking behaviors, deconstruct stigma around mental illness and also to develop an increased understanding of the psychological and social factors that impact mental health within our unique context.
Mental Health in a global context
The importance of interventions targeting mental health is highlighted by Mental Health being included in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in September 2015, with a comprehensive mental health action plan in place from 2013-2020. Part of the four main objectives of this includes the implementation of strategies for promotion and prevention in mental health.
Goal Three aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being at all ages. Specifically Goal 3 targets to reduce, by one-third, premature immortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention, treatment and promoting mental health and well-being by 2030 (World Health Organization 2018). As an organization we align ourselves with these broader objectives and this forms our rationale for this initiative.
Kushamiri and Mental Health
Kushamiri as a human capital and wellness organization provides services in mental health care and has realized the importance of creating a forum for promoting mental health. As an organization which has three of our country’s already limited psychologists, we are aware of the needs of the community in which we provide our services. Only providing curative interventions is only a stop-gap measure and it is important that we extend our mental health care services and make knowledge about psychological issues more accessible and relevant. This has led to the conceptualization of PSYCHTalk as an outreach initiative and to contribute more broadly to mental health care Eswatini and the role that the growing profession of psychology has to contribute towards this.