A study of mental health requirements among adolescent school pupils in Chiredzi District, Masvingo Province
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Promotion of mental health for adolescents has become an emerging global concern since its absence brings in a myriad of challenges for adolescents in theform ofantisocial behaviour, unwanted pregnancies, abortions, sexually transmitted infections and HIV among other problems. The study examined the need for mental health needs among adolescents in Chiredzi. The study triangulated quantitative and qualitative data. The survey, through the use of a questionnaire, was used to gather information from adolescents. Qualitative data was collected through the use of focus group discussions, in-depth interviews and key informant interviews. It was noted that there was limited emphasis on mental health issues within and among families because of limited resources for adolescents. This was also because of poverty, anxiety, the absence of support from extendedfamily network, cultural initiation ceremonies, siblings and peer pressure. Consequently adolescents find themselves engaged in drug and alcohol abuse and became sexually active at tender ages. The study recommended school policy to support primary carers, that is, parents and communities in the promotion of good mental health for the benefits of adolescents and the nation as a whole. Furthermore the study, calls for the recruitment of school social workers to assist in the guidance and counseling of adolescents.