July is Psychosocial Disability Month. This year Cape Mental Health is marking it by focusing on the stigma attached to mental illnesses and conditions.
As part of their #breaking the stigma campaign, Cape Mental Health drew attention to the following facts and figures:
– One in four people will be affected by a mental or neurological disorder during their lives (WHO: 2001);
– 25% of all general practitioners’ patients are ill or seek help due to psychiatric rather than medical conditions;
– Almost 20% of high school pupils think about fatally harming themselves;
– Nearly 2/3rds of people with a known mental illness never seek the necessary professional help.
Cape Mental Health has urged government to address “the mediocre focus on mental health'” in South Africa.
It is also challenging each one of us “to become advocates for mental health by #challenging the stigma”.
Ways to do this include educating “yourself to understand psychosocial disabilities and how you can help. You can help those living with a mental disorder through support, sharing your concern and reaching out for professional help’.