A new online survey by The Cohen Veterans Network and The National Council for Behavioral Health finds that, despite increasing demand, a lack of awareness of services and social stigma around seeking mental health care, persists in America.
"The stigma of mental illness is probably as big a problem as mental illness itself", said Patrick Corrigan, a professor of psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology. People go for a physical health check-up regularly but mental health is always neglected.
It also recommended a wholesale shift to community-based care for mental health patients, with psychosocial treatments such as talking therapies being offered not just by medical professionals, but also by community health workers, peers, teachers and the clergy. "In the United Kingdom and Australia, peer-to-peer education programs encourage young people to support one another".
"In 2016, a tragic case occurred in South Africa when the Gauteng Department of Health stopped funding a large 2000 bed facility and allowed the dis¬charge of vulnerable people with psychosocial disability into unlicensed community residential facilities, leading to the death of over 140 people", noted the 46-page report which brought together global mental health experts, advocates and mental health users.
WHO, in its recommendations, called for the integration of mental health into primary healthcare. For many, these can be times of stress and anxiety, and these feelings can lead to serious mental illness if they are not recognised and managed in time. "Depression is like any other illness that requires intervention". "Parents and teachers can help build life skills of children and adolescents to help them cope with everyday challenges at home and at school".
In similar vein, the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki in commemoration of the day in Benin decried the attitude of many societies towards people having mental health problems and called for a change. "She also talked about battling depression in a video posted on YouTube by the Live Love Laugh Foundation (LLLF), in which she said, 'Waking up was tough because I didn't want to face the day".
"The hope is to get people excited about taking care of their mental health and themselves overall".
"The new Mental Health Strategy and the other measures we are promoting today demonstrate that our work in the area is consistently evolving and improving as we move forward". Disturbed sleep, more emotional or change in the appetite, are some of the common signs that we most of the times overlook.