Show love to persons with mental illness – Foundation

mental Illness

Divine Torch Foundation, a Non-governmental Organization, has appealed to civil society, churches and individuals to help fight mental illness through the show of love to victims to make them heal faster.

The Foundation also appealed to the government to invest more into the mental health departments for efficient healthcare delivery for patients.

The investment the organization said would enable easy access to drugs and equipment for the psychiatric homes.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency at Sege on the World Mental Health Day, which was marked on October 10, 2021, Madam Louisa Atta Akpoto, Executive Director of the Organization, noted that Mental Health was the condition of being sound mentally and emotionally devoid.

“Any sign of mental illness, feeling comfortable about oneself, positive feelings about others and the ability to meet the demands of daily life,” she said.

Simply put, the general condition of one’s mental and emotional state of a person’s condition about their psychological and emotional wellbeing

“October 10, is not only for Breast cancer but also for Mental Health Awareness and we at Divine Torch Foundation have added Mental Health Awareness to our yearly calendar to create awareness and to let people know it can be prevented,” she revealed.

Since 2014 WHO has set this day aside to create awareness on Mental Health Issues and the theme for this year’s celebration is: “Mental Health in an unequal world.”

Madam Akpoto said this year’s theme sought to address the issues of the gaps and lapses when it came to the creation of awareness and access to mental health services.

“Someone will ask why Mental Health Awareness? This day has been set aside to create awareness about mental health and wellbeing that helps reduce the stigma and also to lead people to seek help and treatment,” she said.

Madam Akpoto noted that though the causes of Mental illness were not certain, it depended on genetics, psychological trauma, adverse childhood trauma, use of drugs during depression, migration, discrimination, bereavement, separation, infections, exposure to toxins, and substance abuse.

She said some of the symptoms have long-lasting sadness or irritability, extremely high and low moods, excessive fear, worry or anxiety, social withdrawal, dramatic changes in eating and sleeping habit.

She also noted that strong feelings of anger, delusion or hallucinations, thoughts of suicide, not having the urge to bathe and increasing inability to cope with daily activities.

“In children and teens, drastic fall of grades, skipping school, damaging properties, a frequent outburst of anger, withdrawal from friends and social activities, persistent nightmares, persistent disobedience and thoughts of suicide are common symptoms you see,” she said.

Madam Akpoto revealed that mental illness is not a death sentence, it is a health condition and is treatable.

“Each one is at risk of this condition so early detection of the above mention symptoms will warrant you, parent or guardian to seek help from a social worker, medical physician, psychologist, psychiatrist and a counsellor.

Madam Akpoto, therefore, appealed to families and friends and the general public to seek help when they see or start to experience any of the signs mentioned.

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