Mental Health in Africa

Depression and mental health affect a lot of young people but are hardly discussed , It is almost like its a taboo to address depression in an African home, once you come out to say I am depressed often people look at you like you have some type of incurable disease and Isolate you even more, this then leads to a deeper depression and the lucky ones eventually get out of it but the rest succumb to suicide.

We have heard a lot of stories of young students who have committed suicide and when we first hear the news we feel really sad for minutes and then we go back to our lives as if nothing ever happened but would we have the same sentiments if one of our close friends or family committed suicide? So why are we letting so many of our youth succumb to depression, I feel as families, as communities, as churches, as organizations we can help foster an environment that openly addresses mental health issues.

I established this platform to share my stories and the stories of other young women in hopes that they will resonate with other young women and help them on their journey’s, so as a person who has been in and out of depression a couple of times I am sharing some tips on how to get yourself out of the depression funk and get back to living your life.

  1. Acknowledge your feelings- You need to really sit down and accept that you are depressed and evaluate why you could be depressed. Accepting and acknowledging your feelings will help you deal with your depression and move past it quicker. According to Buddhism, accepting the pain causes less suffering than struggling vainly against it.
  2. Have someone to talk to- The bible says it is not good for a person to be alone.It’s really important that you have someone to share your problems with, this person might not necessarily be a friend or family because a lot of times our families may not understand our issues because they have not gone through a similar experience in life so have a neutral individual counsel you, might be a professional therapist, a pastor or a mentor .
  3. Take Care of Yourself-  Eating healthy, exercising, going out and being kind to yourself will inevitably force you to value yourself, people do not take care of the things they hate, the minute you start showing yourself some self love that is when you will begin to truly see the beauty of life instead of dwelling only on the negatives and issues.
  4. Find someone or something to care for- There is no greater feeling in the world than the feeling of being needed, finding someone to care for may bring joy back in your life, for example volunteering in an orphanage may help you out of depression.

However if you do go through all points suggested in this article and you still feel like you are depressed there are toll free suicide and depression help lines available to call 24/7 here . Life is precious and should not be taken for granted.




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