Making mental health & well-being for all a global priority
Mental health is a fundamental part of our well-being and a basic human right. We are able to cope with the stressors in life, realize our abilities and contribute to our communities.
Mental health is not purely defined as the absence of mental disorders. It is complex yet ubiquitous in that it differs from individual to individual with varying levels of intensity under different social and clinical circumstances.
Overall, its importance as an essential component of health and well-being that fosters our individual and collective abilities to make decisions, build relationships and shape the world we live in cannot be underestimated.
A mental disorder is characterized by a clinically significant disruption to an individual’s cognition, emotional regulation, or behavior. They include anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and neurodevelopmental disorders.
According to the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), in 2019 1 in every 8 people were living with a mental disorder. The most common were anxiety and depressive disorders.
That is 970 million people …around… the world…
And in 2020, WHO indicated that the number of people living with anxiety and depressive disorders rose significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While quality effective prevention and treatment options exist, many people with mental disorders do not have access to structured pathways of care. Many also experience stigma, discrimination and violations of human rights.
A diverse set of individual, family, community, and structural factors may combine to protect OR undermine mental health. This is more evident for people who are exposed to adverse circumstances such as poverty, violence, disability, and inequality. They are at higher risk.
While health systems are making progress, there are miles to go to adequately respond to the needs of people with mental disorders. It is regrettable that this is one area which is significantly under-resourced.
Community pharmacists are among the most accessible healthcare professionals. We are well-placed to identify people at risk of mental health crises, lend a confidential ear and refer the client appropriately to the healthcare infrastructure that would ensure the client is well taken care of.
At Leleshwa Pharmacy we not only focus on traditional dispensing roles but we place more emphasis on service delivery and disease state management. We welcome collaborations with mental healthcare professionals to further strengthen best practices on how best to support clients with mental disorders at the primary care level.
We would like to increase our referral portfolio of mental health clinicians and strengthen practices around screening for mental illness, supporting mental health promotion campaigns, and providing education to people living with mental illness and their caregivers.
Here’s to thriving and wellbeing.
This blog hosting site has its author settings default fixed to the administrator of the account. However our blog this month was written by Dr Herman Kimani.
Our gratitude and thanks from the Leleshwa Team