Take mental health seriously

Editorial

THERE is more to good health than just a physically healthy body.
A healthy person should have a healthy mind.
Good mental health is vital for healthy life.
Mental health is the most important aspect of a person’s wellbeing.
Often times, when there is something wrong with our bodies, we take it seriously.
We go to the doctors to try and figure out what is wrong find a solution.
Our friends and family come to our aid and offer support.
Physical illness, as difficult as they are, can grow our mental strength and bring out the best in those who care for us.
Just as the physical body can fall ill without notice, so too can the state of mind.
This is called mental illness; it affects the person’s emotions, thought or behaviour, which is not shared by their cultural beliefs, personalities and produce negative effects on other person’s life and their families and community.
Mental health is about the way you think and feel and your ability to deal with ups and downs.
A person with a healthy mind should be able to think clearly, should be able to feel good about himself/herself, feel good about another person, enjoy good relations with others and be able to solve various problems faced in life.
Mental health has become a global issue.
Tomorrow (Oct 10) is World Mental Health Day, initiated by the World Federation for Mental Health since 1992.
With this year’s theme: ‘Mental Health for All, Greater Investment – Greater Access’, the day is used by many countries and organisations to raise awareness on the issue.
The world is experiencing the unprecedented impact of the current global health emergency due to Covid-19 that has also impacted the mental health of millions of people.
The levels of anxiety, fear, isolation, social distancing and restrictions, uncertainty and emotional distress experienced have become widespread as the world struggles to bring the virus under control and to find solutions.
About 450 million people live with mental disorders that are among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide (WHO’s World Health Report, 2001).
One person in every four will be affected by a mental disorder at some stage of their lives while mental, neurological and substance use disorders exact a high toll on health outcomes, accounting for 13 per cent of the total global burden of disease (WHO, 2012).
Dr Uma Ambi, the principal adviser of mental health services at the Health Department has always stressed that the challenge now for everyone is to have good mental fitness.
That is a valuable investment.
Many people in the community talk about mind and body as if they are different and separate.
Mental health has been neglected for far too long in Papua New Guinea.
Mental health promotion, prevention awareness and education is essential to inform people how to identify stress, mental health problems, to know where to seek medical attention and for those in the community to know where to refer those who need social and mental health services.
It is sad to say that many of our loved ones are indeed suffering silently with remorse.
Mental health is a human right, it’s time that mental health is available for all.

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