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Poor mental health robs youth future - YAFID

The Mohlomi Mental Hospital in Maseru

Oct. 12, 2020 3 min read

3 min read

THE Chairperson of the Young Adults Fighting Depression (YAFID) Relebohile Mokebisa is concerned about the escalating rate of youth around the world whose mental health is rapidly deteriorating.

YAFID is a local non-governmental organisation established in 2018 to help youths deal with depression.
Youths in Lesotho, Ms Mokebisa said are included in the equation as they are not spared from the debilitating condition.

She made these remarks on Saturday during the commemoration of the World Mental Health Day which is held annually on October 10.

This year’s edition of the event was celebrated under the theme: 'Mental Health for All, and increased investment in mental health'. The event is intended to increase involvement in the matters of mental health thus encouraging global mental health education and advocacy against the social stigma that is often associated with it.
Ms Mokebisa said one of the ways to address this global health challenge is to ensure that the victims have access to proper counseling services. “We have to collaborate with different sectors in the country which deal with mental health whenever youths suffer depression because if unattended on time, depression could destroy both their future and lives,” she said.
YAFID she said is ready to extend a helping hand to youths through offering counseling services, which in turn reduces the work load on Mohlomi Hospital, the only mental institution in the country.

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Maseru counselor, Nathane Mokebisa said if the mental health situation is not taken under control, it will have a detrimental effect on the country’s male workforce.  

“There is a need for the nation to show empathy towards these young men and acknowledge their problems. In Sesotho culture, men are expected to bottle their emotions to show strength of character.

“But that denies them a chance to get support when they have problems because nobody knows until it is too late when they are in need of such help,” Mr Mokebisa also said.

He therefore encouraged youth especially young men to seek help or talk to others whenever they encounter problems of any kind.
Gladys Lebenya who is mental health survivor said depression is one of the main causes of mental health deterioration, adding that if it remains undiagnosed or untreated for too long, it has fatal effects on one’s life and health.

“It has been two years since I was diagnosed with depression but through counseling which I get at the Mohlomi Hospital, my life has changed tremendously and I feel like a new person now” Ms Lebenya said.
About 450 million people worldwide are living with some form of mental disorder.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Federation for Mental Health (FMH) have made a global appeal to people to pay more attention to their psychological well-being and seek help sooner rather than later.


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