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General News of Friday, 7 April 2017

Source: ghanaweb.com

Mental Health Authority starts campaign to fight depression

The Mental Health Authority in collaboration with World Health Organization has today April 7, launched a campaign to talk about and fight against depression in the country as significant number of people is affected.

According to new records released by the World Health Organisation, the number of people living with depression increased by over 18.4% between 2005 and 2015.

As today marks World Health Day, government and civil societies have been encouraged to address depression as a widespread illness that affects individuals, families and peers, and also recognize it as a treatable condition.

Dr. Owen Kaluwa, World Health Organisation Country Representative speaking at a press conference themed “Depression – Let’s Talk”, tasked government and other stakeholders to come together in creating awareness to fight depression in the country; as cases of suicide has become rampant recently in the country.

According to him, government must take depression seriously since it’s a societal issue and must address it holistically by making it a priority in national agenda.

“What is critical is for us to do that mental health and depression in particular should become a priority in the national agenda of addressing health and requisite resources provided so that mental health can really be addressed and addressed holistically” he stated.

Former Chief Psychiatrist, Professor Joseph Bediako Asare also advised Ghanaians to have a confidant whom they can trust in addressing their issue so as to avoid suicide in the country.

He explained further saying, the Mental Health Authority has started creating awareness through their trained health workers to help people suffering from depression so as to reduce the rate of suicide in the country.



Depression can lead to suicide and about 1 million lives are lost yearly due to suicide, which translates to 3000 suicide deaths every day.

According to World Health Organization, by 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of world disability and by 2030 it is expected to be in the first position and the largest contributor to disease burden. Also, about 10% of women suffer depression after delivery which makes them have the urge to harm the baby.

How to prevent depression

- Adequate knowledge on depression

- Proper parenting

- Good Interpersonal relationship

- Good Mental Health practices such as: assertiveness, self identity and acceptance, regular exercise

- Comprehensive / Holistic antenatal, perinatal and postnatal care

- Reduce stigma associated with depression

- Avoid alcohol and drug use

- Talking with people you trust about your feelings