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Call to support the mentally ill

Limpho Sello

MASERU — Mohlomi Mental Hospital Manager of Nursing Services, ‘Mampolai Tsemane says most patients suffering from mental illness are faced with challenges such as rejection and HIV infection.

Tsemane told journalists at a two-day workshop on mental health that most people took advantage of mental patients who are also sometimes sexually abused.

In some cases they are alienated because of their illness.

“Mental patients are sometimes sexually abused and they end up being infected with HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)”.

According to Tsemane they have observed that mental illnesses are usually caused by social problems and substance abuse. This is high among men, she said.

Tsemane said domestic violence and porvety also made women susceptible to mental illness.

Meanwhile, social worker of Mohlomi Hospital, ’Makananelo Mokhesi said although mental patients are given medication to stabilise their condition, that was not enough.

She explained the importance of support from families and the communities.

“At mental health centres, patients are given psycho-social support but families too must play a critical role,” Mokhesi said.


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