WRITES KYAMBOGO UNIVERSITY STUDENT
“What mental health needs is more sunlight,more candor, and more conversation” Glenn Close
Tomorrow, Uganda will join the rest of the world to commemorate and celebrate the World Mental Health Day which is observed on 10th October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide. This acts as a spring board for my writing of this article.
COUNSELORS SHOULD LEAD IN THE FIGHT OF MENTAL HEALTH ILLNESSES
Adolescence (10–19 years) is a unique and formative time. Whilst most adolescents have good mental health, multiple physical, emotional and social changes, including exposure to poverty, abuse, or violence, can make adolescents vulnerable to mental health problems. Promoting psychological well-being and protecting adolescents from adverse experiences and risk factors which may impact their potential to thrive are not only critical for their well-being during adolescence, but also for their physical and mental health in adulthood.
Generally mental health is the level of psychological wellness or being ,it’s therefore a state where an individual minds are functioning at a satisfactory level and these help individuals (adolescents )to cope up with various aspects in their lives for example them dealing with daily stress ,being vital in society etc.
With prior knowledge an adolescent ranges from the age of 10-19 years with it being one of the most crucial stage of life, development as a process, maintaining of social and emotional habits .It’s been on understanding that almost half mental health of the adolescents starts at an early age of about 14 years and these have been due to depression over several issues they face in their lives. Adolescence is a crucial period for developing and maintaining social and emotional habits important for mental well-being. These include adopting healthy sleep patterns; taking regular exercise; developing coping, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills; and learning to manage emotions. Supportive environments in the family, at school, and in the wider community are also important.
At this age an adolescent is so reserved and can’t easily disclose enough about the challenges he or she is going through yet they need a lot of attention and information about variety of problems that affect them for example getting involves in risky sexual activities ,intoxication(use of drugs and alcohol) of which we are in a generation where various parents have failed to fulfill their responsibilities of guiding their children mostly adolescents and this hence therefore makes them assume all is well thus keeping wasteful way of life .
Some adolescents are at greater risk of mental health conditions due to their living conditions, stigma, discrimination or exclusion, or lack of access to quality support and services. These include adolescents living in humanitarian and fragile settings; adolescents with chronic illness, autism spectrum disorder, an intellectual disability or other neurological condition; pregnant adolescents, adolescent parents, or those in early and/or forced marriages; orphans; and adolescents from minority ethnic or sexual backgrounds or other discriminated groups.
Some of the mental health disorders in adolescents include
- Suicide and self-harm
- Risk-taking behaviors
- eating disorders
- Childhood behavioural disorders
Most of it all mental health has to be promoted in all possible ways of life
- Transdiagnostic interventions – for example, those which target multiple mental health problems.
- Delivery by supervised staff who are trained in managing adolescents’ specific needs.
- Engaging and empowering caregivers, where appropriate, and exploring adolescents’ preferences.
- -Face-to-face and guided self-help methods, including electronic mental health interventions. Due to stigma or the feasibility of accessing services, unguided self-help may be suitable
Parents should play a great role with the adolescents thus effectively be mindful and pay attention to the adolescents because they need a lot of guidance on how things are done in order for the adolescent not to have issues that break them in the future. Group and one on one counseling where an adolescent is able to share their heart felt issues with a professional counselor or therapist In order to be helped effectively and make stand still and great decisions for their lives.
In conclusion therefore it should be clearly noted that mental health differs from mental illness .And most of the youths aren’t certain about their mental health .And we need to come together and promote mental health in adolescents in the best way possible in order to make mental health certain to all adolescents out in the country and the world at large.
- One in six people are aged 10–19 years.
- Mental health conditions account for 16% of the global burden of disease and injury in people aged 10–19 years.
- Half of all mental health conditions start by 14 years of age but most cases are undetected and untreated.
- Globally, depression is one of the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents.
- Suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15–19 year olds.
- The consequences of not addressing adolescent mental health conditions extend to adulthood, impairing both physical and mental health and limiting opportunities to lead fulfilling lives as adults.
- Mental health promotion and prevention are key to helping adolescents thrive.
GUIDANCE & COUNSELLING STUDENT