A new report on the state of mental health in the country has indicated that lack of an independent law on mental health, an updated policy framework and regulations of private mental health clinics are still among the issues impeding the fight against the prevalent disease. Commissioned by Global Health Corps (GHC), the report aimed at profiling the mental health burden in Rwanda, available resources and challenges to access mental health services. Global Health Corps is a leadership accelerator mobilizing a powerful network of future health equity leaders in Rwanda, Uganda, Malawi and Zambia. Released in early March 2022, the report highlighted that the absence of a standalone law governing the practice of mental health in Rwanda impedes mental health service delivery. “Entities such as media houses tend to use stigmatizing languages as patients continue to face discrimination and abuse as a result of mental health illness they may be suffering from, and yet such entities/ individuals are not held accountable since there is not specific law in place to punish those crimes,” reads part of the report. A legal instrument is essential to streamline access to mental health service care and protect people with such disorders, according to the report. Operating procedures for mental health clinics Rwanda developed a national policy on mental health a year after the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi which was later on revised in 2011. It focused on the decentralization and integration of mental health services into primary healthcare. “Ten years after the policy’s inception, time has come to revisit the existing national policy and assess at which level the expected strategies and deliverables were achieved,” reads the report. Respondents to the survey indicated that the last decade has brought new challenges and the policy needs to be revised and include modern aspects. The report also calls for Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for mental health clinics, as they are also present for other general medicine clinics. In Rwanda, general medicine has a guiding framework through which specific requirements guide for the establishment of private clinics which is not the case for mental health facilities. They also highlighted that few of mental health disorders are covered by insurance companies and Mutuelle de Santé: “Insurance companies and mutuelle de santé do not cover a wide range of mental health treatment, hence hindering some from accessing these services”. “Mental health disorders are often mentioned in different platforms such as conferences, however it is an undeserved class in terms of programs and resources of which some of the existing resources are not being utilized,” advocated the report. A recent mental health survey by the Ministry of Health in 2019 estimated that 20.49 percent of the general population met the diagnostic criteria for one or more mental disorders. Mental disorders were more prevalent among women (23.2 percent) than men (16.6 percent) and the major depressive disorders were depressive episodes, panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).