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Youth Volunteer on SRHR, Norah Chabu

The theme “Mental health for all” as the main focus that encompassed various activities for mental health awareness in 2020 looks at the need for every individual to embrace mental health. Mental health is as important as physical health, yet, is neglected in most sectors of society. This births stigma which appears in many forms. 

Some still believe mental health is madness, while others believe it is witchcraft but, it simply has to do with the state of one’s mind; how one thinks, how one acts, and how one responds to the day to day pressures of life. Over the years there has been a rising need to embrace mental health from a different point of view. This involves engaging society, schools and universities in mental health awareness.   

A view of mental health being as important as physical health draws the society’s attention to means and ways of maintaining a positive mental health. A look into an average university student’s life shows that adopting positive mental health concepts yields a significant difference on their outlook to life as many positive minded students tend to embrace daily challenges well and find healthy coping skills. 

A striking question to answer is; in as much as society knows about mental health, is there more to for it than just awareness? 

It is strongly agreed upon that there is more to mental health awareness. 

There comes a phase where after one realises the importance of mental health, they are to live in a way to better their mental state. Unfortunately, it is at this phase that many fails. Even the mental health advocates find difficulties in coping with stressors sometimes. The ones who lead such as parents, guardians, and the ones to protect their society such as young advocates need also to apply positive mental health to their day to day lives. 

Through the course of the past two years, there has been an increase in the rate of suicide among mental health advocates, leaders, and parents. Society is left to wonder why these people were the target for suicide when they lived their best lives. In this, society fails to see what goes on behind the closed doors of these up-lifters of society. They decided to carry the loads of society and yet forgot their own not realising the burden they built upon themselves. When they felt like they had enough, they ended it all. This should prove that mental health is also applicable to the up-lifters of society, the leaders, parents and advocates. 

There is more to mental health awareness, which means society ought to find means to cope with daily stressors, and apply these means each and every day. Only then will a positive change be seen, and then, mental health will be embraced with a comprehensive approach. 

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