Multiple Crises and Limited Mental Health Resources
Eswatini has the highest HIV rate in the world, with an HIV prevalence among adult at 27.3%, about 70% of the population is reported by the World Bank to be surviving under US$2 per day, rates of violence against women and children are alarmingly high.
Despite all these risk factors, the country has one psychiatric hospital with only one psychiatrist and one psychologist who are hired by government at the National Psychiatric Referral Hospital. They are expected to offer services to about 1.2 million people, while over fifty (50) psychology practitioners work in private practice.
Our Current Work
Increasing Awareness and Access to
Inclusive, Quality and Affordable Mental Health Support Services for Rural Communities in Eswatini
We are conducting mental health workshops for rural health workers and offering mental health promotion activities in rural communities in Eswatini. These events are designed to help rural health workers identify common mental health issues at the community level, especially those affecting women, children and other vulnerable groups, provide a front-line response to mental health crises within their communities, develop effective self-care techniques and practice, and support self-help and support groups.
Empowering Youth, People with Mental Health Issues, and the Wider Community
Since 2013, IMERSE has worked with youth, people with mental health issues, and the wider society in Eswatini.
Working in 11 high schools, IMERSE's "I Choose Life" peer education and counseling project trained teachers, students, and community members in identifying and addressing basic mental health issues among high school students and their immediate communities.
IMERSE's "Healing through Art" project empowered people with mental health issues and youth to safely share their experiences.
IMERSE has promoted basic mental health skills and knowledge by being featured in Eswatini's national newspapers, radio, television, and events.