Zimbabwe has been reminded to give equal attention to mental health given the costs associated with poor mental health and lack of productivity due to psychological disorders.

Negative attitude by health care funders towards mental health compared to physical illness and limited mental health care facilities have been cited as some of the challenges facing the domestic healthcare ecosystem.

Zimbabwe Medical Association (ZIMA) Secretary General, Dr Sacrifice Chirisa highlighted that both the government and the healthcare funders should demonstrate positive attitude towards mental health and commit resources towards promotion of mental well-being of the country’s citizens.

“Some of the challenges we are facing in as far as mental health is concerned include negative attitude by funders towards mental health compared to physical illness, lack of access to needed medication and limited mental healthcare facilities at good standards,” he said.

As part of recommendations, health stakeholders have been urged to strengthen management of HIV and AIDS related psychiatric conditions and implement anti-stigma campaigns,” he said.

On the other hand, corporates have been urged to broaden their mental health intervention programmes.

Most organisations across the globe are now beginning to appreciate mental health as a key component to productivity.

Research has also shown that chronic stress doubles one’s risk of having a heart attack.