Individuals, especially young people, have been advised to appreciate and take good care of themselves and be open to people they trust in times of emotional instability to address depression and ensure mental stability.
Mr Peter Mintir Amadu, Executive Director of Total Life Enhancement Centre, Ghana, who gave the advice, said there was more to mental illness than what was usually referred to as madness, adding, some of the causes of mental health-related to issues such as depression, could be prevented just as they could be managed and cured.
He said this at the ‘Young Voices Forum’, a sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) knowledge-sharing platform that enabled young people to learn and share knowledge on topical SRHR issues that affected their development.
The forum held in Tamale brought together young people, and health practitioners to discuss and share knowledge on the signs and symptoms, and prevention of depression amongst others.
The forum is an initiative of Savana Signatures, a non-governmental organization, and it is held once every month to discuss topical issues that affected the development of young people.
Most young people lack adequate knowledge and awareness on the signs and symptoms, and prevention of depression, a situation, which affected their well-being, hence the forum to enable them to learn about the situation.
Mr. Mintir Amadu said the issue of depression and mental health as a whole must be considered important by taking into consideration the kind of things young persons associated with.
He cited loneliness, isolation among others as symptoms of depression, advising young people experiencing such situations to seek professional advice at an early stage to avoid their transition to other serious mental illnesses.
He said the number of psychologists and psychiatrists in the country was not enough to cater for the mental health needs of the citizenry, adding this called for personal care and awareness to promote mental fitness.
Mr. Joseph Tiibe of the Tamale Health and Fitness Centre, cautioned young people to be mindful of the emotions derived from the lifestyles of their peers as portrayed on social media, which eventually led them into depression.
Mr. Tiibe said the ability of the youth to differentiate between false identity and the reality of their peers would go a long way to change their mentality about being left behind, which had been an immediate cause of depression these days.
He advised parents to make time out of their busy schedules to listen to their wards irrespective of their ages, so as to promote parental trust, which reduced the emotional trauma a young person was likely to face.