South Coast Fever

‘People with mental illnesses deserve love’

Londa Kortjas who is a registered counsellor, educated patients about some of the challenges that cause the community members to not access mental health services.

The Gamalakhe Community Health Centre recently commemorated Mental Health Day under the theme: Make mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority.

The health centre’s PRO Lifa Radebe said October was declared Mental Health Awareness Month with the objective of not only educating the public about mental health but also to reduce the stigma and discrimination that people with mental illness are often subjected to.

Radebe said many aspects of mental health have been challenged, adding that before the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019, an estimated one in eight people globally were living with mental disorders.
He added that during the Mental Health Day celebration, Londa Kortjas who is a registered counsellor educated patients about some of the challenges that cause community members not to access mental health services.

Radebe said Kortjas also highlighted some of the stigmas that are associated with people who are living with a mental illness.
He added that Kortjas emphasised that funding and human resources for mental health remain in short supply and fall far below than what is needed, especially in low and middle income households.

“Stigma and discrimination continue to be barriers to social inclusion and access to the right care. Kortjas said importantly, we can all play a part in increasing awareness about mental health, raise awareness on preventive mental health interventions. World Mental Health Day is an opportunity to do that collectively. We envision a world in which mental health is valued, promoted and protected.

Where everyone has an equal opportunity to enjoy mental health, exercise their human rights and where everyone can access the mental health care they need,” he said.

He added that signs of mental illness include extreme mood swings, problems with appetite or sleep changes, hallucinations or delusions, unhealthy coping mechanisms, unusual emotional outbursts, and chronic low grade depression. “People living with a mental illness deserve to be loved as well because they are also human just like us,” said Radebe.


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