Public awareness or education on physical and mental health is undertaking at various health centres in the country. The education goes on in various clinics, hospitals, maternity homes, on various media platforms, rehabilitation centres etc. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), health is defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social well – being of an individual and not merely the absence of a disease or an infirmity. A lot of people living in our part of the world believe that they are very healthy because they are physically fit. This statement is very false according to WHO’s definition of health is. Staying healthy has a little to do with your physical health but it includes your mental and social well-being.
Let’s take a glance on mental health. How can one tell if he or she is mentally healthy? Is it about being in a good mood, dressing in clean clothes or behaving well and speaking clearly? Some individuals claim they can look at a persons mere appearance and tell if he or she is mentally sound however, there is a more solid way of knowing whether one is mentally healthy, from World Health Organization “Mental health is a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
By WHO Ghana situational analysis “It is estimated that of the 21.6 million people living in Ghana, 650,000 are suffering from severe mental disorder and a further 2,166, 000 are suffering from a moderate to mild mental disorder. The treatment gap is 98% of the total population expected to have a mental disorder.”
The high increasing rate of suicide and depression reveals that people having these issues fail to report because of stigmatization of being mentally ill. Most people who report to the hospital are also abandoned by their families and communities. This leaves them no choice than to spend the rest of their lives in the psychiatric hospital.
It is not a death sentence to be sick of malaria and so is mentally illness. The condition can be managed medically and psychologically. Therefore, lets add the health of our minds in the circle of our life because a healthy mind lives a healthy life.
Naa Koshi Lamptey