Mental health awareness on mental health day

Striving for mental health should be a top priority for one’s optimum efficiency and yesterday, the world celebrated World Mental Health Day with the theme, “Mental Health in an Unequal World”.

WHO Zimbabwe on twitter yesterday sent out a number of tweets giving advice on how to take care of one’s mental state as well as provide information on statistics to do with mental health in Africa and Zimbabwe.

“Be sure to take care of your mental health: exercise regularly, talk about your feelings, eat healthy, practice good sleeping patterns, avoid or restrict alcohol intake, seek professional help if you feel depressed or anxious”

“30 million people in Africa suffer from anxiety disorders” and “85% have no access to treatment”

The WHO Zimbabwe twitter feed went on to mention that “6 out of the 10 countries with the highest suicide rates are in the African Region”

According to an article published in 2020 by the Lancet Psychiatry, Zimbabwe had 17 registered psychiatrists with 13 practising in-country for a population of 15 million people by the time of its publication. There is need for more doctors. The poor doctor to patient ratio increases workload of doctors eventually reducing their efficiency due to fatigue. There is need for more psychiatrists in Zimbabwe for the nation to tackle head on mental issues.

Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects thoughts, feelings, actions and helps determine how to handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. It affects daily life and a lot of people may suffer from mental health issues and only find this out when it’s too late hence the importance of being on the lookout for triggers. These triggers include but not limited to bereavement, social isolation or loneliness, child abuse, trauma or neglect and poverty or debt.

The Government of Zimbabwe through the NDS1 strategises to intensify the promotion of sport for health and increase public health and well-being. They will also establish community clubs that promote healthy lifestyle and engage stakeholders in the purchase and maintenance of equipment and consumables for wellness programmes. This will promote and improve the drive to exercise among people making them healthy leading to a healthy mind.

A healthy mind in a healthy body ensures a healthy nation. Mental health awareness should be discussed by all age groups and should be incorporated by all.

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