By Moses Ndhaye
Civil Society Organizations have underscored the need for developing countries like Uganda to remove barriers that hinder persons with mental health-related illnesses from accessing treatment with ease.
According to experts, currently, the barriers include stigmatization, financial strain, acceptability, poor awareness, and socio-cultural and religious influences among others.
Gerry Opoka the executive director for Soul Foundation, an organization that provides counseling to patients at Butabika National Referral Mental Hospital, says when such barriers are eliminated it will have patients live a dignified life.
Opoka was officiating at the handover of over 7 modern toilet facilities constructed by Telecom Company MTN –Uganda to improve sanitary conditions at Butabika Hospital.
He says everybody is at risk of getting mental challenges and therefore it’s important for the community to provide support to persons suffering from such a condition.
Psychiatrists at Butabika Mental health referral hospital say alcohol and drug abuse are the biggest contributors to the spike in mental illness across the country.