Bearing in mind that it’s a mental Health awareness month, being sponsored by the Ministry Of Health (MOH), It’s therefore a duty and responsibility of every person to fully participate in the campaign against the mental illness condition.
According to Dr. Oscar Makacha, a psychiatrist clinical officer at Bungoma County Referral hospital, said that some of the causes of the mental illness are the past experiences for instance in our childhood, the environment we live in and some are genetically inherited. Some of the conditions of mental illness include; depression, bipolar mood disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, sexual and sleep disorders.
Mental health is a non communicable disease, and so it varies from one gender to another depending on the condition one has. For instance, in depression you will find that most women will express their condition to the people they trust or those that are close to them then can easily get rid of it from the counselling they get while most men will not do that, and so it might be difficult to ascertain them and may end up falling into the condition.
He said that mental health clients rarely come to hospital themselves because they don’t have their inside and also do not know their aim therefore most of them are taken to the hospital by their relatives, friends and people close to them after they discover that they are ill.
He however cautioned the notion that people have that mentally ill people are those that walk around the market and roadside picking rubbish, but instead he said that, most of them are smartly dressed people and it’s very difficult to discover that they have a certain mental illness condition.
Anxiety and depression are the most leading conditions in the health, yet the people who present to them are like you and I. In mental illness, there is no guidance, instead, there is counseling, which involves helping one to come up with a way on how he/she may get rid of the condition they are in. Some mental conditions are chronic in nature and therefore, there is need for use of drugs, psychotherapy, social support and at times spiritual support.
“About 300 clients are attended to where by about 40 of them are new ones seeking medication for the first time and the rest come for check up.”He said.
Comparing this condition with other chronic diseases like HIV/AIDS and malaria, mental illness is lowly rated by the government and it does not get any support, but the management believe that it will soon be catered for by the government like other diseases because it has come out and is greatly growing in people.
Patients with mental illness are just like any other but at times they are discriminated against by others because of the stigma, but with proper awareness in the society and the general public the stigma may reduce and the seeking behaviour may improve. A good number of mental patients who have conditions like stress and depression are reported to have healed from the same after undergoing an effective treatment process.
As a society we need policies from the society that are linked with the facilities because most of these conditions are not life threatening and are not emergency and so people in the society might live with them for sometime but if these facilities are linked to the society, these people might benefit from the services being offered.
Dr. Makacha concluded by encouraging people not to stigmatize these people as mental illness is just a condition like any other and therefore there’s no health without mental health.
Mental Health Awareness Month (also referred to as “Mental Health Month”) has been observed in May in the United States since 1949. Mental Health Awareness Month began in the United States in 1949 and was started by the Mental Health America (MHA) organization (then known as the National Association for Mental Health)
Anxiety is the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 2023.
By Elizabeth Mwibanda