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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

World Mental Health Day – Tackling Mental Illness

World Mental Health Day is marked on 10 October every year. This day provides an opportunity to draw attention to Africa’s large and growing burden of mental health conditions, with children and adolescents worst impacted. 

This year’s theme, “Make Mental Health and Wellbeing for All a Global Priority”, serves as a reminder that, after nearly three years, the social isolation, fear of disease and death, and strained socio-economic circumstances associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to an estimated 25% global rise in depression and anxiety. 

Description

World Mental Health Day is a global day of education, advocacy, and de-stigmatization of mental illness. The World Federation for Mental Health, a global organization for mental health with members and contacts in more than 150 countries, spearheaded the inaugural celebration in 1992.

Across the African Region, more than 116 million people already estimated living with mental health conditions pre-pandemic. Suicide rates remain particularly concerning, as are the exponential rates of alcohol use and abuse among adolescents as young as 13 years of age.
We need to urgently strengthen regulatory systems to close the gaps that allow such young people to easily access alcohol, contributing to heavy episodic drinking rates as high as 80% among teens from 15 to 19. The situation poses a serious threat to their education, while setting the stage for a lifetime of alcohol abuse, and the associated risks of noncommunicable and other related diseases. 

Also Read: World Breastfeeding Week; Awareness, Theme, and All You Should Know

Inadequate Funding

Inadequate financing for mental health continues to be the biggest limitation, negatively impacting efforts to expand Africa’s mental health workforce. As things stand, there are fewer than two mental health workers for every 100 000 people, the majority of whom are psychiatric nurses and mental health nursing aids.
With these scarce resources concentrated at large psychiatric institutions in urban areas, people at community and primary care levels are left critically underserved.

Also Read: World Blood Donor Day: Donating Blood is an act of Solidarity

World Mental Health Day

On World Mental Health Day today, let us all commit to working together to deepen the value we afford to mental health, to reshape the environments that negatively impact mental health, and to also strengthen the care systems to make mental health care accessible to all Africans. 

 

Chinaza Ogbachalu
Chinaza Ogbachaluhttps://www.chinazaogbachalu.com/
My name is Chinaza Ogbachalu, and I am a writer. I have been writing news and opinion articles for five years plus and have always had a passion for storytelling. I grew up in Nigeria and graduated from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, with a degree in linguistics and communication studies. I have written books that have been well-received by critics and readers alike. My work often focuses on culture and lifestyle, and I draw inspiration from my own experiences and observations of the world around me. As a news writer, I am responsible for researching and writing engaging and accurate news stories for our online audience. I have a strong passion for current events and am skilled at conducting interviews and gathering information from sources. I am grateful for the support of my readers and am constantly humbled by their enthusiasm for my work. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about me and my writing.
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