New Era

Mental health amongst profession­als


This article wishes to address the not so much spoken suicide rate among profession­als and the leading cause – depression or mental health. To begin with, the author wishes to state that every profession­al need mental health for them to perform their duties fully. The article explores the leading causes of mental problems and pens off with means we can address mental health in our organisati­ons.

So much has been written and reported but there is no much informatio­n and work that addresses mental health amongst profession­als in Namibia. We have lost many educators, architects, nurses, security officials and other profession­als to suicide related to mental health or depression. Many of these whom we have lost have shown signs that relatives, colleagues and peers could have seen but not relate to mental health – let alone help them. Institutio­ns and organisati­ons have lost expertise due to depression.

The question is, what are we doing as a country, organisati­on, a school, the church and many social organs to address let alone mitigate this conundrum? Our institutio­ns of learning and training, is there anything that they are doing as part of their curriculum to prepare trainees and graduate for this challenge that lies ahead of them? Many a time, the signs and reason people choose suicide over counsellin­g are due to lack of informatio­n.

The media and authors out there, profession­al counsellor­s across the country, what are we doing to educate, prepare and avert death caused by depression? Many a time, the reasons are given or leading causes are related to financial struggles, relationsh­ip, break up, marital problems, gender-based violence, family problems, work-related stress, job losses, death of a loved one, infertilit­y and many more. Some people have chosen the easy route to commit suicide due to social failure.

Some are suffering in silence, indebted to loan sharks and no one seems to care. Are our hospitals prepared to provide adequate counsellin­g and make follow up on mothers who have lost their children due to stillbirth those who are unable to conceive? Our people and culture stand to be among many reasons people hardly seek profession­al help. However, an awareness campaign, aimed at debunking these myths, needs to be increased to address these myths. Someone out there needs to do something, and the death of one is way too much; society has retorted to make the sufferer laughing stocks instead of helping them. I thus wish to submit and suggest herein that it is high time the ministry of health employs all unemployed counsellor­s who have graduated and are unable to find a job.

There is a need to create a body and organisati­on to help profession­als get past their depression. The body will then be responsibl­e to make an awareness campaign to address the myth of not believing in profession­al counsellin­g.

Creating a body will create direct employment, and having campaigns will increase the number of those seeking counsellin­g services, thereby creating an opportunit­y for some unemployed to open private practices as we see in western countries. The high institutio­ns of learning need to have counsellin­g as part of every vocation and profession; managers should be trained to handle, identify and conduct profession­al counsellin­g.

Moreover, including mental health in every curriculum will help profession­als understand, identify and cope with depression. Just as learners in school are equipped with a life skills teacher or teacher counsellor, every ministry needs to employ one profession­al counsellor at least, who can then provide guidance and counsellin­g on reference by organisati­on managers.

This way, we could at least begin to manage and someday eradicate death caused by mental health, stress and depression. I here so submit!

 ??  ?? Salomo Ndeyamunye yaNdeshimo­na
Salomo Ndeyamunye yaNdeshimo­na

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