Dokolo Woman Member of Parliament, Cecilia Atim Ogwal has warned youth against the abuse of drugs and alcohol to prevent mental health problems.
Cecilia, in a message on her social media page on Saturday October 10, 2020, the International Day of Mental Health, said that besides socio-economic difficulties, the misuse of alcohol and drugs also have adverse effects on mental health.
“Today (Oct 10) is World Mental Health Day, an international day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. Since 1992, each October is celebrated to raise attention on mental illness and its major effects on peoples’ lives worldwide,” said Cecilia.
She appealed to people to support the victims of mental health problems in their respective communities as the per the 2020 theme.
“In line with his year’s theme: ‘Mental Health for All’, let’s all support people suffering mental health problems and above all do everything possible to prevent it,” she said.
The legislator urged Government to address socioeconomic problems including unemployment, poverty, poor housing and others to keep people in better a mental state.
“Poverty, loss of jobs (like in this COVID-19 pandemic), homelessness or poor housing and their associated stress badly impact on someone’s mental health. Government should address socioeconomic challenges to keep people mentally fit,” said Cecilia.
“Also, be aware that other causes of mental health problems are: childhood abuse, trauma, or neglect, social isolation or loneliness, experiencing discrimination, stigma, bereavement (losing someone close to you), drug and alcohol misuse, domestic violence and bullying or other abuses,” she added.
Mrs. Ogwal appealed to her followers to stay away from drugs and misuse of alcohol.
“So, my people avoid alcohol or drug abuse, domestic violence, bullying and all that we can control to prevent mental health problems,” she concluded.
World Health Organization’s country representative, Yonas Tegegn also noted on Saturday that socioeconomic conditions have a “heavy toll” on mental health.
“The loss of jobs, economic opportunities and stress take a heavy toll on the mental health of people. The focus COVID-19 also creates challenges in service health delivery regarding mental health,” said Tegegn.