- Approximately 1 in 4 people worldwide will experience a mental health disorder at some point in their lives.
- Mental health conditions can impact individuals of all ages.
- Knowledge about mental health helps dispel myths and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.
Mental Health is a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn and work well and contribute to their community on other part Mental illness Refer to a wide range of conditions affecting a person's thinking, feeling, behavior, or mood.
These conditions can significantly impact a person's daily functioning, relationships, and overall well-being. Mental illnesses are real medical conditions, and are not a result of personal weakness, character flaws, or lack of willpower. They can affect people of any age, background, or walk of life.
Mental health issues are widespread and affect a significant portion of the global population. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 1 in 4 people worldwide will experience a mental health disorder at some point in their lives.
Mental health conditions can impact individuals of all ages, genders, socioeconomic statuses, and cultural backgrounds so everyone is a potential candidate.
Mental health does not discriminate based on age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status. Factors such as genetics, life experiences, and environmental influences can contribute to the development of mental health conditions.
In our conversation with Gift Nakayinga, a mental Health and Public health expert, working with Ndejje University she observed the need for the public to seek credible information about Mental Health. ‘’There is a crucial need for people to have information about mental health for several reasons’’. She spoke.
She noted that Knowledge about mental health helps dispel myths and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. This, in turn, encourages individuals to seek help without fear of judgment.
She further said having knowledge about mental health could help on early Intervention. ‘’Understanding the signs and symptoms of mental health issues allows for early intervention. Early identification and treatment can significantly improve outcomes and prevent the worsening of conditions’’. Nakayinga said.
According to her, Mental health information empowers individuals to adopt practices that promote overall well-being, including stress management, healthy relationships, and self-care.
Having knowledge about mental health enables individuals to support friends, family members, or colleagues who may be experiencing mental health challenges. It fosters empathy, understanding, and a supportive community. She added.
''In year 2020, I happen to attend to a patient whose mental health really took a turn for the worse during her first year at the university when she turned 21. She wasn’t only depressed and anxious but also seeing things, hearing voices or things which weren’t there.
She used to see a man running at her down the corridor and she used to hear people screaming and laughing when no-one was around her. (what we refer to as in psychiatry as visual and auditory hallucinations). She could have drastic highs and lows and felt like nothing was ever going to get better''. Nakayinga noted.
She added that the worse of it was when she could hear familiar voices telling her to kill herself where she ended up with a coping method that was extremely self-destructive.
When it came seeking help, she had many push backs that people assumed she was a ‘typical stressed student and could not believe her condition. She was given no care and no help to control all these emotions and thoughts. Though she didn’t give up fighting
It was in her second year that she sought professional help. She was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder with Psychosis though it wasn’t the end of her struggles.
But with constant care, medication, counselling and other treatment modalities like behavioral therapies to help her moods and thoughts and to understand why she feels the way she does sometimes.
It's important to recognize that mental health issues are not solely the result of personal weakness or failure. Mental health is influenced by a complex interplay of various factors, and each individual's experience is unique.
Seeking professional help, when needed, is crucial for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. Early intervention and a holistic approach that addresses biological, psychological, and social factors are key components of mental health care.