Most people who experience mental health problems, especially those who get help early, recover fully and in cases of partial recovery, the patient lives with a controllable mental health condition.
However, the strong social stigma and discrimination of people with mental health conditions become a deterrent for seeking help.
The metro’s acting manager for acute and chronic care, Patrick Magodzho, encouraged people not to suffer in silence and seek help as soon as possible.
“Mental health is not only limited to hallucinations or schizophrenia, which mostly occurs when mental illness is at an advanced stage.
“It also includes mild mental health problems that most people suffer from without even being aware of or display easily noticeable behaviour traits,” said Magodzho.
“This makes it even more important for people to start having open conversations about mental health and to visit local clinics for mental screening.”
Magodzho further stated persistent headaches, and feelings of depression or being stressed, a change in eating patterns, and becoming anti-social and withdrawn are some of the indicators of mental health illness that family and friends can easily notice.
In most cases of mental illness, there is no improvement without intervention, and if a patient is not treated, the condition may get worse over time and become acute.
Residents are encouraged to visit their nearest primary care facilities or mental health specialist if they are displaying any signs of mental illness.
All primary healthcare facilities in the metro offer screening services for mental health.
After the screening process conducted by a professional nurse, based on the needs identified, an appropriate referral is made to a facility which renders secondary mental healthcare.
At the secondary mental healthcare level, a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) that consists of a psychologist, psychiatrist, social workers, occupational therapists and physiotherapists is available to assist the patient.
At this level, further assessment will be done and the outcomes will determine the appropriate management or interventions to be applied to assist the patient.
October is World Mental Health Month and October 10 will be commemorated as World Mental Health Day, to heighten global mental health education, awareness and advocacy.
This is an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health to raise public awareness of mental health issues worldwide.
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