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MANZINI – While tasked with the responsibility of looking after school children, it has emerged that teachers are the leading patients who visit the Manzini Psychiatric Hospital.

The hospital, which is the only institution that provides mental health services in the country, attends to both psychotic and non-psychotic patients.

Teachers form the largest part of the civil service population as they are about 14 000 in total out of the 33 000 government employees.
Regional Health Promotion Officer Calvin Dlamini revealed this adding that  as much as this observation was made, there were other professionals who approached the hospital for services such as counselling.

The reasons that teachers visit the psychiatric hospital in droves have been cited as mostly stress related.
The factors contributing to the stress include unfair promotions, internal locus of control, job performance, personal growth, job retention, job loyalty, competence and job control.

Dlamini said it could be possible that the inference is drawn from the fact that teachers, by nature, almost outnumber other professionals in terms of population.
“We also attend to soldiers, magistrates and the police almost on a daily basis.”

He added that this therapy comes in different levels where patients often meet officers in different professional levels.
“Sometimes a patient requires counselling that can only be done by a nurse but we also have others who need to be referred to a doctor, occupational therapist or even a social welfare officer.”

He said treatment may vary from two weeks to three months depending on the nature of the issues that are being tackled or the rate at which the patient is responding to therapy.

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