All Professional Bodies, National Associations (e.g. Mental Health, School, Guidance, Addiction, Faith-based etc.) and Accrediting Organisations.
Communicable Diseases Health Service Delivery:
Good Shepherd Hospital (Dr. Nina Putnis)
Universities and Other Education and Training Institutes
Counselling Agencies, Services, Group Practices, Counselling Centres
Ndo Mdlalose Clinical Psychologist
- Website: Ndoniyamanzi Mdlalose (Facebook)
- Organisation Size: Clinical Psychologist and President /Founder of Transitions Mental health and Psychosocial Wellness Organization
Phephile Sukati Clinical Psychologist
- Website: Phephile Sukati (Facebook)
- Organisation Size: National Psychiatric Hospital
Child Welfare and Child Protection
- Domestic Violence and Child Protection Sexual Offences Unit, Department of Social Welfare
- Tel: +268 2404 8209
One Stop Centre for Abused Women and Girls
- Tel: +268 2404 6046/ 2404 9880
Save the Children Fund
- Tel: + 268 2404 7731/ 2404 2573
SOS Children’s Village
- Tel: + 268 2422 0114/0833
- Tel: 24071000
National Children’s Coordination Unit (NCCU), Department of Social Welfare
- Tel: +268 2404 0260/0262
Violence and Abuse
- Domestic Violence and Child Protection sexual offences unit
- Tel: 24048209/25503690
One Stop centre for abused women and girls
- Tel: 2404 6046/ 24049880
Background & Context
In 1963, Mental Health Laws was fixed by the member and was replaced by the Mental Health Order in 1978. However, there is no available information related to the mental health policy in Eswatini.
Also, the psychosocial training was carried out during the year 2010. 320 principals and teachers were trained on speaking books donated by the Global Fund. Its purpose is to create psychological support to teachers and problems faced by orphaned and vulnerable children.
Current Regulatory Status / Level of Recognition:
There is very little information available on the state of mental health issues in Swaziland, including the lack of an official mental health policy. Very little or no funding is available to both support the mental health and wellbeing of the Swazi population.
There are four nursing programs approved by the Eswatini Nursing Council (ENC) that provide nursing education in the areas of general nursing, midwifery, mental health and community health. The mandate of the ENC is to protect the public and to this end licensed nurses must be able to meet standardized entry level requirements.
There is only one psychiatrist available in the public health system to serve the entire country, and only one psychiatric hospital where locals can seek support. Due to these limited resources, many health workers lack basic knowledge on the recognition and treatment of mental health issues.
Challenges & Trends
- The government rely on some NGOs for assistance with our child abuse cases.
- There is a shortage of space for professional counselling.
- Guidance teachers are transferred from one to another. Retraining is therefore always necessary for the benefit of those schools that have new guidance teachers.
- Due to the global recession, since the beginning of the current financial year 2011 implementation is greatly hampered by the lack of resources from the government.
- Mental healthcare need: The extent of need for basic mental health care is not known for Eswatini. There might be many thousands of individuals that need mental health care. This makes service preparation difficult.
- Counselling capacity: Nurses in primary care provide many essential services to the people of Eswatini and sometimes may lack the capacity to take time for counselling. It is important that other services are not negatively affected by this, and that nurses get the necessary support and time.
- Incomplete counselling courses: Most patients did not complete a full HAP course (designed to be 5-8 sessions, ideally 2-weekly). This was sometimes due to 3-month medication refills, with patients unable to attend in the interim due to time or finances, sometimes because the counsellor was too busy or not aware the patient was there and sometimes because patients did not want to continue with the course. Some nurses felt that 3-4 sessions was enough for their patients to benefit.
- Treatment for severe depression: Healthy Activity Program (HAP) counselling can only give support for moderate depression. Severe depression, those at risk of suicide and serious mental illness such as psychosis requires doctor and specialist input and access to psychiatric medication. Access to quality mental health care in secondary, tertiary and specialist care requires additional and sustained focus and development concurrently.
- Social barriers: Stigma, discrimination and misunderstandings remain significant barriers to prevention and care of mental health conditions, both in the community and in healthcare settings. Also, A culture of “tibi tendlu” which means “the dirt of the house” prevails, which means that families will often not discuss certain taboo topics, like mental illness, as it could cause their family to be viewed in a negative light and stigmatized by the local community.
- Multi-agency support: The results indicate that traumatic experiences, such as sexual violence, domestic violence and bereavement are common in patients experiencing depression. This requires multi-agency focus in terms of both prevention and care for these individuals.
Additional Information & References
For a deeper exploration of the counselling profession in the country, interested readers are recommended to read the following journal articles:
Eswatini Government. (n.d.). Www.Gov.Sz. Retrieved October 18, 2020, from http://www.gov.sz/index.php/component/content/article?id=303:educational-testing-guidance-psychological-services
Expanding mental health care in the Kingdom of Eswatini: Successes, challenges and recommendations from initial experiences in Lubombo Region. (n.d.). COMDIS-HSD. Retrieved October 18, 2020, from https://comdis-hsd.leeds.ac.uk/resource/expanding-mental-health-care-in-the-kingdom-of-eswatini-successes-challenges-and-recommendations-from-initial-experiences-in-lubombo-region/
Mental Health Atlas-2017 country profiles. (2019). World Health Organization. https://doi.org//entity/mental_health/evidence/atlas/profiles-2017/en/index.html
Msibi, G., Nkwanyana, N., & Kuebel, H. (2020). Eswatini Nursing Council Regulatory Reforms: Process towards Entry to Practice Examination. Annals of Global Health, 86(1). https://doi.org/10.5334/aogh.2800