Health and Child Welfare Minister Henry Madzorera told journalists last week that the guidelines will be used in tandem with the United Nations’s principles on management of mental health patients.
“The first principle states that there shall be no discrimination on mental health while the second one says every mental health patient shall have the right to treatment,” he said.
“We believe the launch will ensure that the principles will be fully observed.”
Madzorera said the existing guidelines related to different mental disorders were being implemented in isolation and were largely inaccessible to many health workers.
He said the handbook was essential to service providers as it empowered them to treat mental health patients with dignity.
The UN General Assembly recognised the rights of the mentally ill to protection and care and laid down the UN principles more than a decade ago.
Custodia Mandlate, the World Health Organisation country representative said the body took mental health seriously as health was defined in three dimensions: physical, mental and social well being.
“Mental health is an essential and integral part of health,” she said.
“Just as health is not merely the absence of disease, mental health is also not simply the absence of mental disorder or illness but represents a positive state of mental well being.”
Mandlate urged health workers to fully utilise the guidelines and treatment protocols for the management of common mental health disorders.