Most people who experience mental health problems, especially those who get help early, recover fully and in cases of partial recovery, the patient lives with controllable mental health condition.
However, according to metro spokesperson Themba Gadebe, the strong social stigma and discrimination on people with mental health condition becomes deterrence for seeking help.
“For this reason the City of Ekurhuleni’s acting manager for acute and chronic care, Patrick Magodzho, encourages people not to suffer in silence and seek help as soon as possible,” said Gadebe.
Magodzho said mental health is not only limited to hallucination or schizophrenia, which is mostly mental illness is at its advanced stage.
“But it also includes mild mental health problems that most people suffer from without even being aware of, or displaying easily noticeable behaviour traits.
“This makes it even more important for people to start having open conversations about mental health and even visit local clinics for mental screening,”
Magodzho said persistent headaches, and feelings of depression or being stressed, change in eating patterns, level of socialisation change to being anti-social and withdrawal symptoms are some of the indicators of mental health illness that family and friends can easily notice.
“In most cases of mental illnesses, there is no improvement without intervention, and if a patient is not treated, the condition may get worse over time and become acute.
“In this light, for any sign or symptoms of a mental illness, residents are encouraged to visit their nearest primary care facilities or mental health specialist.”
He said all primary health care facilities in the City of Ekurhuleni offer screening services for mental health. After the screening process by a professional nurse, based on the needs identified, appropriate referral is made to a facility which renders secondary mental health care.
“A secondary mental health care level means that there is a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) that consists of a psychologist, psychiatrist, social workers, occupational therapists and physiotherapists to assist the patient.
“At this level, further assessment will be done and the outcomes will determine the appropriate management or interventions to be applied to assist the patient.
World Mental Health Day is an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health to raise public awareness of mental health issues worldwide.