Focus on children's mental health, WHO urges African leaders

Leslie Hanson
October 11, 2018

"In 2016, a tragic case occurred in South Africa when the Gauteng Department of Health stopped funding a large 2000 bed facility and allowed the dis¬charge of vulnerable people with psychosocial disability into unlicensed community residential facilities, leading to the death of over 140 people", noted the 46-page report which brought together global mental health experts, advocates and mental health users.

WHO, in its recommendations, called for the integration of mental health into primary healthcare.

United Kingdom journalist Hattie Gladwell initiated a Twitter thread with the hashtag detailing 'Things people have said about my mental illness.' The thread went viral, and exposed us to the kind of comments those suffering with mental illness had heard.

"One in four of us will have to deal with a mental health condition at some point in our lives" Gaga and Ghebreyesus said, adding that suicide is "the second leading cause of death globally among 15-29 year olds". For many, these can be times of stress and anxiety, and these feelings can lead to serious mental illness if they are not recognised and managed in time.

Countries at the summit are expected to support a global declaration to achieve equity for mental health, marking the first time national governments have made a joint pledge to put mental health on an equal footing with physical health.

"For over a decade, we have had doctors who are consultants in sport and exercise medicine looking after our elite athletes", he added.

Chance's tweet drew praise from others on Twitter, with many expressing thanks for his empathy.


He said the burden of mental illness had risen dramatically worldwide in the past 25 years, partly due to societies ageing and more children surviving into adolescence, yet "no country is investing enough" to tackle the problem.

The harmful use of alcohol and illicit drugs among adolescents were also identified as contributing to risky behaviours such as violence, unsafe sex and dangerous driving.

"We can all help to build communities that understand, respect and prioritize mental wellness".

"As a government, we have delineated our health system for easy appreciation of the roles required by all stakeholders in the sector".

"We can end the stigma that has forced too many to suffer in silence".

"The new Mental Health Strategy and the other measures we are promoting today demonstrate that our work in the area is consistently evolving and improving as we move forward".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER