Public event will put focus on young people and mental health

Ally Finnis

"This year's theme is "Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World", Mrs. Brandy-Williams explained".

"National's Mental Health spokesperson Matt Doocey and National's Health caucus have been out in the community meeting with New Zealanders, including those who cope with mental health issues and those who provide support, to hear about what we can do to better help them".

"These, among others, represent some of the cases that the Mental Health Unit addresses on a daily basis", Mrs. Brandy-Williams said.

Mental Health has always been a topic of low discussion. Dr McNamara emphasised the importance of proactively working on health and having social supports to maintain positive mental health in the longer term. Lack of transportation, housing, employment and a strong support system have a major impact on health outcomes - especially for those with mental illness - and when lacking, can make it especially hard to get proper medical care. Research has also identified the following risk factors among our youth: Those who suffered a traumatic experience, poor eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, poor quality sleep, excessive use of cell phones, tablets, computers, television, youth who are bullied at schools and colleges, with physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, with a family member who has anxiety, depression, schizophrenia or suffering from substance abuse and poor management of coping with stress. Avoid trying to use alcohol to relieve stress; it's a depressant and makes depression worse.

This was compared to 15% of men and 25% of women in the highest income bracket. 'Suicide is a leading cause of death in young people'.

"Most people with depression are not suicidal, but most suicidal people are depressed", says Dr Sebolelo Seape, chairperson of PsychMG. Some of the early warning signs include staying aloof or acting differently, irritable behaviour, anger or moodiness, lack of self-care or risky behaviour, spending time away from home and experimenting with drugs. Deaths from intentional self-harm occur among males at a rate more than three times greater than that for females.

The Accra Psychiatric Hospital Medical Health Director worriedly said despite the mental disorders facing quite a number of the population, mental health comes to the discussion table only when there is an emergency. It will be the third year in a row that the San Marcos couple will attend the free, all-day conference in memory of their son, also named Aaron, who died by suicide in 2015 at the age of 21.

Mrs Doyle-Price, 49, was elected MP for Thurrock in Essex in 2010 and given her first government job following the 2017 election, as junior health minister. Society has always conditioned us to believe that mental health issues are a stigma and that they can't be spoken about.

This is why, celebrities, business leaders and MPs all came together at parliament today, in the week of World Mental Health Day, to celebrate the fantastic achievements of the campaign so far, and most importantly, call for change. However, there are simply no other accessible options.

Under the plans, the Government will publish a "State of the Nation" report every year highlighting trends in young people's mental well-being.