As an annual tradition, on this date (10-10-2017), the world marks a special moment to drum support for the mentally challenged individuals. This also includes awareness campaign to raise hope of treatment and survival for the victims. The World Mental Health Day is a smart Initiative of the United Nations (UN) in collaboration with the WHO.
This year’s theme of the World Mental Health Day aims basically at ‘Focusing on Conducive Work Environment’. Apart from its effect at tackling the mental health challenges, it also has potentials address the extent of the poor orderliness the world faces today. Corruption as one of the reference; Indeed, the brains need be properly reminded.
Nigeria’s situation is more precarious. Ours is a country of ‘one day one trouble’. The worries of many Nigerians are many. That is why the mental illness cases are everywhere around us and no one seems to be appreciating the nexus between the two.
However, Psychological experts have established a sharp connection between depression and mental challenges. Thus, those who are acutely depressed could actually slip off to ‘mental derangement’ If not properly detected.
Now what is depression?
Depression is a major depressive order: a serious medical illness that negatively affects how one feels, thinks and act. Depression is capable of causing feelings of sadness or even loss of interest in a particular activity one once enjoyed. Although it is a treatable illness, various emotional and physical problems are attached to it.
Individuals carry depressions everywhere around us without being noticed. Let’s begin from the work place: where a worker who earns peanuts (18,000 minimum wage for instance) is in the position to feed a family of 7 and above. I mean no one would be happy in such condition knowing fully well that he has to ‘bread-win’ his family on debts and alms. A clear indication of how your take home can’t take you home.
A worker that operates in a hostile environment is
also not likely to have a stable mind. A person, who works with a bossy boss that does not appreciate subordinates, is also an obvious candidate. That man/ woman whose working colleagues are antagonistic is potentially going to lose his mind soon too.
And then at home, he /she is likely to transfer his mood on his or her family. These and many other reasons may have prompted this Year’s theme. You never can tell who would be saving from Suicide with your kind gestures and attitude.
Thus, there is need to look inward (around us and in our larger communities); identify these potentials and find a way to tackle the menace. This is not just a deal for our government alone. We can be our brother’s keeper for the mental cleaning of our society. This menace could also be tackled in our various worship centers and communities. NGOs and charity foundations are not left out.
Depression, according to mental health experts, can lead to suicide attempts. This should be one reason why countries should take this serious. Nigeria, for one, is gradually becoming infamous for suicide cases. Depression can therefore be easily been erased by simply paying attention and listening to worried people. What they need is your advice and motivation not your nags and rejection.
Today, parents are too busy to listen to their children. Husbands and wives are too occupied to even listen to each others’ challenges. Men of God are quite carried away with other activities. There is no time for the flock.
Let’s relate with the story below:
You would recall the woman who was rescued when she was aim fully oscillating around the 3rd Mainland Bridge in Lagos. She almost jumped into the lagoon if not for the swift reaction of the neighborhood. Well as the law demands, the police charged her to court for attempted suicide. Her defense in the court however, was that she did it as a result of depression.
The woman was a big fabrics merchant that lost her entire money to con men. Her creditors came and pack away her goods. She made various attempt to talk with her pastor but he was too busy. Her husband had died many years before and her 3 children were in universities outside Lagos. She was once very rich. And then suddenly became very poor: her friends had deserted her. So she got tired of life.
While reporting the incident, the police prosecutor told the court that the patrol team thought she was a mad woman. Therefore, so many mental cases were triggered by depressions and could have been averted if the victims had had somebody to confide in.
The unbridled corruption in Nigeria could have also caused the high rates of mental challenges across board. So many are poor while a very few are rich. Billions of dollars are reported stolen. To add insult to injury, the thieves always get away. The common wealth that ought to elevate the status of every common man has been cornered by a few opportunistic elites. Unemployment rate is also something to be looked into too.
Such lawlessness in the face of squalor could cause mental instability. Across the world, there are various misdemeanors that have rocked the joy that the world once knew. As the world mark this day, we must appreciate the challenges of those who can still be helped. Citizens are encouraged to bear one another’s burdens. Men of God should devote more time to the welfare of their flocks; the place of canceling should not be jettisoned. Visiting a mental health expert is also a good thing to do. As the saying goes: a stitch in time saves nine.
Happy Mental Health Day.
Written by Comr. Okhifo Oscar on 10-10-2017.
Edited and Published on Muzzammilwrites.