I recently got the opportunity to do a short video for the Unkut Africa Mental Health platform (which you can check out and follow on Instagram) talking about an issue that is close to my heart, mental health.
Zimbabwean media personality @sp3kktracular explains his understanding of #MentalHealth. #LetsTalkAboutMentalHealth #UnKutMentalHealthKE #MentalHealth #MentalHealthKE #MentalHealthAwareness #SelfCare #SelfEmpowerment #SelfLove #JourneytoWellness #BreakTheStigma #Mindfulness #Depression #Anxiety #SocialAnxiety #HealthandWellness #Health #MindandBody
In the African context mental health is usually swept under the carpet and usually attributed to witchcraft and/or spirit possession. We live in a world filled with a lot of information requiring our attention. This tends to take its toll on us. Our parents as much as they may try, cannot fully prepare us for this.
While we talk about cancer and HIV/AIDS little or no attention is being paid to mental health. As I get closer to 30 I feel a sense of undeserving achievement as I have lost a lot of peers before they even reached 25. More often we treat the symptoms of mental health issues but not the actual cause. The shortened attention spans do not help either. We tend to notice issues when it’s already too late. The cries for help are there right before our eyes but we are too busy focusing on other things we think are more important.
I’m an advocate for not fostering negative energy. This is something I learnt from experience. I reached a point where I was so depressed my body was physically shutting down. I covered up how I felt by drowning myself in work. This lead too long hours and shorter resting periods. It eventually caught up with me. I had lost a considerable amount of weight and I started getting these recurring chest pains. I had to get myself checked out, then it hit me. I had to take better care of myself lest I dig myself into an early grave.
I speak as someone who has made it past mental health issues and lived to tell the tale. Don’t ever feel like there’s nothing you can’t talk about. You can always hit me up free of charge if you need someone to vent to or talk to. Significant others should also learn to identify mental health issues in their partners before labeling them as nagging or other not-so-subtle terms.
You could someone’s saving grace, so let’s start the talk, about mental health, everywhere we are.