Depression: Let's not stop talking
With the alarming rate of suicide in our world today, one begins to wonder if there is something missing in our current health system. What is the point of doctors working so hard to save a patient, all the levels of prevention, screening exercises, fortification of food, emergency services and so on, if at the end of the day the patients goes ahead and takes his or her own life.
Mental health is one of the fundamental basis of health that should never be taken for granted and yes it is the head of health.
Once you are mentally healthy, it reflects on your physical as well as social state. Mental health is not constant and so our health is always in a continuous state. Therefore, our mental health should be given top priority in our health system and incorporated into every aspect of health management and services to people.
The primordial step in having a population with less mental disorders is by educating and bringing awareness to the population on how important their mental state is.
The WHO declaration of world health day 2017 as Depression: Let's talk is an example of such awareness that can be brought to the world at large. Depression is one of the most common mental condition and the leading cause of physical ill health and disability worldwide. There have been more than 18% increase in the number of depressed people between 2005-2015. Of course with this increase comes an increase in disabilities and suicide rate.
This campaign launched by the WHO on world health day is a supposed one year campaign aimed at removing stigma on depressed people which will enable them to seek and get the help that they deserve.
It is such a pity that after few weeks of the launch of this campaign, it still haven't reached most remote areas and have died down in other places. This shouldn't be the case. For me, this shouldn't be a year campaign but continuous and incorporated in the society that it becomes a habit for people to express their fears, angers, worries etc, and talk about them. We shouldn't stop talking until most depressed people are getting proper help and every hint of depression is swept off as soon as possible. The health of patients are in the hands of doctors, and so the mental state of a patient should be detected during history taking by the doctors and adequate measures taken. Also, healthy advise to patients, for example to destress and exercise goes a long way.
There is so much that can be done, and I urge everyone of us not to stop talking (educating and bringing awareness) until we successfully defeat depression.