Monday, 9 January 2017
MY PLEDGE: MUSING OF A MENTALLY AWARE NIGERIAN.
When I was called by a colleague of mine sometime in the 3rd Quarter of 2016,to make this solemn PLEDGE, my thoughts were those of extreme positivity with regards to dissemination of Mental Health information and consequent reduction in the burden of this Public Health dilemma. Have my thoughts changed? I knew a little about the topic for my level and certainly had the opportunity of speaking with experts on National Television but as of today,what has changed?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) rightly defined Mental Health as " a state of well-being in which every individual is not only aware of his or her own potential,but can cope with the normal stresses of life as well as work productively and fruitfully, being able to make a contribution to her or his community." From this definition, you can agree with me that, not only the few seen on the streets are mentally unhealthy. Without bias, you notice that close to half of global citizenry are mentally unhealthy in one way or the other. You are either in some part of AFRICA,finding it extremely difficult to cope with economic recessions or in EUROPE, extremely pissed with terrorism and illegal migrant influx or in NORTH AMERICA/SOUTH AMERICA, absolutely confused and scared at what the Trump Government will bring to the table in the mist of incessant public shootings or in ASIA, weary from not knowing when the next environmental disaster will occur. Perhaps the happiest people in the world dwell in Australia and Antartica,who knows? WHO Media centre stats reveal that, over 350 million people are extremely sad/depressed all over the world but without a pinch of doubt the number is certainly growing and things don't seem to be getting better. The emotional pain is palpable when you communicate with clients in the outpatient Clinics; more than ever before.
Coming back to my pledge,what has really changed? Well,NOTHING. I remain a mentally aware Nigerian and just like I attempted to do in a short Television Interview session with the Secretary General of the "Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative", I will join other global citizens to spread the word continually, that no matter what, there are always positive coping mechanisms to deal with the stresses of life. We must all make attempts to support one another as much as lies within our means and avoid negative vices like: stigmatisation;bullying/oppression;fraud; religious/ethnic bigotry and what have you.
I'M JUST SAYING....
Dr Kevwe is a medical practitioner;health media entrepreneur;freelance television presenter and blogger. He graduated from the University of Port-Harcourt in 2006 with a 2nd class upper in Human Physiology & went on to bag an M.B.B.S. from the same school in 2011.