What is mental health?
According to WHO [i]Mental health is a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realise their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community. It is an integral component of health and well-being that underpins our individual and collective abilities to make decisions, build relationships and shape the world we live in. Mental health is a basic human right, and it is crucial to personal, community and socio-economic development.
Mental health in Africa
Across the African Region, more than 116 million people [ii]were already estimated to be living with mental health conditions pre-pandemic, which can be explained by mental health conditions being considered as taboo and sometimes linked to superstitious practices such as witchcraft. People with mental health conditions are often facing discrimination and deprivation of their fundamental rights.
World Mental Health Day is an ideal time for Africa CDC to raise awareness on this less know topic in Africa to advocate for African Member States to invest more in prioritising mental health as serious public health condition globally. World Mental Health Day also acknowledges efforts on how, as a continent, can, build and nurture society that prevents mental health conditions among communities.
MENTAL HEALTH, A UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHT FOR AFRICANS!
One of the flagship interventions for Africa CDC’s strategy on mental health is the integration of mental health and psychosocial social support into emergency preparedness and response which has a component on addressing suicide and self-harm in humanitarian settings. With partners, Africa CDC has conducted three regional workshops in Western, Central and Eastern Africa regions, bringing together for the first time mental health directors, emergency preparedness and response officers from 38 Member States to develop plans on how to integrate mental health and psychosocial, social support into their national action plan for health security.
Therefore, this year’s theme for World Mental Health Day 2023 “Mental health is a universal human right”, is aligned with Africa CDC’s strategic priorities to promote mental health and well-being, particularly among high-risk groups for mental health conditions such as the healthcare workers.
- According to WHO ( 2022), Across the African Region, more than 116 million people were already estimated to be living with mental health conditions pre-pandemic.
- Few people in Africa have access to quality mental health care.
- There is No Health without Mental Health!
- Mental Health is ‘‘Our Biggest Wealth’’
- In Africa, many mental health conditions have received too little attention and concern by the general public, the general healthcare system, and elected and appointed public policy makers, resulting in inadequate priority being given to these disorders. We call on African Member States to invest more in addressing mental health issues in Africa.
- Symptoms are not a Barrier to Recovery – Attitude Is
How to join the campaign?
- Use one of the messages to create your own personalised poster using the campaign hashtag and tagging @AfricaCDC.
- Repost and share our posts using the campaign hashtag and tag @AfricaCDC
- Be a champion and raise awareness about mental health in your community.
- Be a champion and advocate for your government to invest in mental health programs within your country.
- Participate in your local mental health awareness and advocacy campaign; click here to learn more about the global campaign.
Media inquiries: Litete Beyande Raïssa, Campaign and Promotion Officer – Policy, Health Diplomacy & Communication: Africa CDC | Email: LiteteR@africa-union.org
About Africa CDC: The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) is a continental autonomous Public Health agency of the African Union which supports Member States in their efforts to strengthen health systems and improve surveillance, emergency response, prevention and control of diseases. Learn more at: http://www.africacdc.org