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Mental health campaign: Increase visibility, fight stigma

Mental health campaign: Increase visibility, fight stigma

October 10, is World Mental Health Day. And we re-collect our thoughts for the people who, for one reason or another, are fighting to come out of various mental health conditions. We know mental Health illness can be caused by a lot of factors. One such factors insurgency, as traumatic encounters in war situations most times get the better of many a people.

The psychological effect that wars have had on populations, seeing loved ones maimed and killed. So we add our weights to support people in various parts of the World that have been disadvantaged by all sorts of unrests, leading to increasing cases of mental illnesses. Studies put the number of children running away from trouble, and that have been psychologically affected at one third (or 33%). And also that every fifth (or 20%) child suffers from a post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the war.

Probably, among older people, it could even be more alarming. And we think it gets to affect care-givers of people suffering from mental disease as well, watching loved ones endure various stressful conditions.. Often times, mental disease sufferers get thrown into prisons or locked up, as remedies to control their violent behaviours.

This greatly undermines all attempts being made to mitigate discrimination and stigma of people suffering from mental illness. Already they are ill-treated within communities and even in schools where; they are often physically, sexually, and emotionally abused and thrown out of class.

They are neglected and rejected by communities. So they continue to suffer without treatment and care. But the more the campaign is raised to reach out to the wider population, the more people will be able to understand and offer assistance. With increased visibility of this problem, we can alter a bad trend that has marred the fighting of mental health disease.

We can ensure that mental health and psychosocial support is an integral part of community-based projects. Community participation cannot be less emphasised. It holds a very vital role in prevention of and helping mental health sufferers to be accepted.

By involving communities, we get their participation in restoring broken social togetherness that once was. And the loss of trust and dysfunctional community systems that at one time played negatively in disengaging people from being helpful. In the olden days, I tell you, people would collectively join hands and change lives.

They would respond to psychosocial requirements of communities early on, to ensure that problems like mental sickness don’t worsen. That togetherness is as rare as the happening of an eclipse today.

We can dig deep into our memory archives and try to be of help. Raise awareness and advocate for improved services to people living with mental illness. Doing this supports government to ease the strain on health services. To make sure that the likelihood of mental health issues being low in the priority list is tackled.

There are many competing priorities, so we must do our part. In so doing, we will be fulfilling our purpose in the kingdom of God. And continue to reinforce the already commendable efforts being put forward. Things are beginning to shape up nicely. Mental health is being given attention. So we can increase our level of community sensitisation. In that way, communities will possess the capability of identifying early symptoms of mental illness and participate in campaigns that are aimed at improving the psychosocial wellbeing of the sick people. And these activities prove to be very handy in building community’s social support systems cohesion that is necessary for the needs of individuals who show signs and symptoms of mental illness. We can do our part; work with organisations to ensure that mental health disease among people is suppressed, just like the physical health sicknesses.

The writer is a civil engineer and the article was co-authored with Odoki Jimmy Acellam the coordinator Heartsounds Uganda

This post was syndicated from The most recent articles . Click here to read the full text on the original website.

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