MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH – OCTOBER 2021 AND WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY – OCTOBER 10, 2021

Challenge yourself to learn more about mental health and mental illness, and participate in activities through the month of October and beyond.

MALAWI: PUBLIC STATEMENT

Connect Plus Resource Institute (CPRI), a local social enterprise organization dedicated to providing mental health and wellness services and solutions in the country, is this Friday, October 1st virtually launching the “Mental Health Awareness Month” that will be observed throughout the month of October, under the theme: ‘Together making mental health a part of our everyday life’.

The events of Mental Health Awareness Month will coincide with the World Mental Health Day, that is observed on October 10 each year. The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day is ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World.’ On October 10, we plan a Mental Health Walk which will start from Lilongwe Community Centre at 1:00pm.

A lot of people in Malawi and around the world today face the reality of living with a mental health condition/illness. It is estimated that close to 1 billion people worldwide are living with a mental disorder, 3 million people die every year from the harmful use of alcohol, and one person dies every 40 seconds by suicide. This reality of mental health needs and challenges has been heightened during the Covid-19 pandemic, with many people impacted. Now more than ever, as a country we are faced with the challenge of addressing this growing public health issue that has been neglected for far too long.

We, therefore, invite all relevant stakeholders and the general public to join us this Friday, via Zoom (contact 0996-225-671 for registration link) or Facebook Live @connectplusmw (open to all) as we launch the Mental Health Awareness Month; and throughout the month of October as we engage in a number of activities.

The purpose of Mental Health Awareness Month is to help create a space to normalize conversations around mental health and mental illness, promote mental health literacy, engage media on best practices in reporting mental health and suicide-related news to help strengthen understanding of these issues by the public, debunk related myths or misconceptions and reduce stigma and mobilize collective action in support of mental health and wellness in the country.

The Mental Health Awareness Month will be a yearly event and will be observed the Month of October each year. We invite everyone to get involved!

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

There are a number of ways individuals, organizations, businesses, and government could get involved through Mental Health Awareness Month including:

1.    Attend the launch of the Mental Health Awareness Month via Zoom or Facebook Live on October 1st at 9:30 am

2.    Share messages on and off social media. On social media use the hashtags #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth2021 #mentalhealthawarenessmonth #MHAMMW #mentalhealthishealth #breakingthestigma #Malawi

3.    Volunteer in any of our events or in fundraising for the campaign

4.    Share a personal story of your experience with a mental health condition that could be featured on our podcast or blog or other media platform. This could help someone going through similar experience and not knowing what to do.

5.    Purchase our campaign T-shirts or Golf shirts - the proceeds will go to serving those around us that might be struggling with mental health issues, raising awareness and suicide prevention. Together we can help support and save lives!

6.    Donate towards the campaign – the donation will help with activities for the month, support those struggling with mental health problems access services or in suicide prevention.

7.    Register, participate and donate towards the 1st Mental Health Walk-A-Thon 2021 to be held on October 10 to mark World Mental Health Day

8.    Like and share our social media content so others can benefit from what we will be sharing through the Month of October and beyond. Use @connectplusmw to find us on social media.

9.    Tell us your thoughts about our theme for the Mental Health Awareness Month and your role in it. Theme: ‘Together making mental health a part of our everyday life’

10.  Challenge yourself to learn more about mental health and mental illness, and participate in activities through the month of October and beyond.

11.  Using the activities guide (contact-0996-225-671), and your own activities – plan and implement in your local community.

12.  Show love and kindness to others through the month and beyond.

13.  Share the following contact numbers with friends and family to have them handy for when they need support: Chipatala Cha Pa Foni – 54747/ 929; Emergency Medical Services – 118; CPRI - 0996-225-671/0998-178-150/0885-426-600; YONECO Helplines – 116 (Child Helpline), 5600 (GBV Crisis Line), 393 (Youth Helpline), 6600 (Drug & Substance Abuse Hotline); St. John of God - call 0992-460-254 (8:00am-4:00pm) or visit in person in Area 43 Or a *visit to the nearest district or central hospital and consult a mental health officer, a clinician or a doctor*

If you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact the undersigned.

Signed today, 29th September 2021 in Lilongwe by,

N. Dennis Mwafulirwa

______________________

Chief Executive Officer

Contacts: +265-996-225-671 or mwafulirwa@outlook.com

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