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BAZEL ODEKE: Why Mental Health Should be Everyone’s Concern In Uganda

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By Odeke Bazel 
With soaring rate of economic, social, political and to mention, religious upheaval, mental health, has become an issue that should be looked critically and from it’s roots, to have the mental illnesses hobbled.
This ultimately, requires a collective effort from different institutions, but most importantly, starting from an individual stand, if we are to achieve positive returns of human existence and development as a country.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which an individual realizes their own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to their community.
Mental health is not just the absence of mental disorders, but also the presence of positive characteristics, such as emotional resilience, healthy relationships, and a sense of purpose and meaning in life.
Considering the statistics, where, Uganda is ranked among the top six countries, with increasing rate of mental illnesses, claiming approximately 14 million out of relatively 47 million people, in aspects of depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance use disorders, mention them
In conjunction with some existing government programs, we should as well act as change agents, since it resonates around individual in the first place and later to the society as a whole.
It’s verily important, that, the fight against mental illness should be everyone’s target, owing to the fact that, government interventions always face setbacks from implementation due to funding.
In the first place, why should everyone participate in creating awareness of the mental illness cases and disorders affecting majority of people in our societies?
First forward, mental health is essential for individual well-being and overall quality of life. Everyone in Uganda should be concerned about mental health as it directly impacts how individuals think, feel, and act on a daily basis.
Besides, mental health issues can affect not only the individual but also their family members and loved ones. By raising awareness and addressing mental health concerns, everyone can contribute to creating a supportive and understanding environment for those experiencing mental health challenges.
From a social perspective, mental health issues can impact community cohesion and social relationships. By fostering a supportive and empathetic community that prioritizes mental health, individuals can create a more compassionate and understanding society.
And in terms of fostering development, mental health concerns can affect individuals’ productivity at work and in their daily lives, which can have a ripple effect on the economy and overall development of Uganda. By promoting mental health awareness and support, everyone can contribute to a more productive and thriving society.
Important to mention, by making mental health everyone’s concern, we can work together to reduce stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health issues in Uganda. This can create a more accepting and understanding society where individuals feel comfortable seeking help and support for their mental health concerns.
In conclusion, mental health should be everyone’s concern in Uganda because it impacts individuals, families, communities, productivity, and overall well-being. By prioritizing mental health and creating a supportive environment, we can work towards building a healthier and more resilient society for all.
The Author is a Social worker and an Advocate of Social justice
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