Mr. Pious Tay, Mental Health Coordinator at the Tema Metro Health Directorate, has advised people with depression to seek counselling from health professionals.
He noted that seeking advice from a trustworthy person when depressed also helps to provide information, guidance, and support.
Mr Tay gave the caution at the weekly “Your Health! Our Collective Responsibility! A public health advocacy platform was created by the Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Office to set the medium for the propagation of health information to influence personal health choices by improving health literacy.
“Your Health! Our Collective Responsibility! Also seek to explore the parameters of the four approaches to health communication: informative, educating, persuasive, and prompting.
The Tema Metro Health Directorate is collaborating with the Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Office to upscale public advocacy on suicide prevention and offer people suffering from any form of depression opportunities to seek for help.
Speaking on the topic “Depression,” Mr Tay indicated that an individual is constantly in the sad moods must be observed closely, stressing that low energy, or fatigue can also lead to depression.
He said a clinical assessment needs to be done to conclude that the person is experiencing depression before an appropriate treatment can be given.
He added that for people experiencing depression, although they will be aware of their condition, confiding in others could be challenging for fear of being stigmatised.
The Tema Metro Mental Health Coordinator recommended that a depressed person seek advice from their fathers, elderly, or religious leaders with effective communication, in which they provide guidance in a non-judgmental way to enable them to have the conversation comfortably as they talk and share their emotions with them.
Mr Tay noted that to seek help when depressed, one needs to build self-esteem and confidence to share their problems with a trustworthy person.
He said as an individual, your behaviour or character is very important when disclosing information to someone during the depression stage, and if a person finds you not to be confidential, he or she won’t open up during this stage.
He said: “channelling your problems to a trustworthy person would help for referrals or recommendations, but as an individual, you need to show some support or empathy.
“Notwithstanding in offering support to a depressed person, you need to monitor by showing love to the person for a while as you look out for the danger signs; hence, building a relationship between the two makes it approachable by asking more open-ended questions for the person to speak more than after the referral of the person to a health professional, a counsellor, or a pastor.