BY :‘Mamohaila Rampo
Mohlomi Mental Hospital Counsellor Lilian Pali Mokhesi says the majority of people that are battling with mental illness are government officials that take up excessive loans and fail to repay them.
Mokhesi said this at the Ministry of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Health expo that was held for the Ministry’s employees. At the expo, the Ministry also organized therapeutic games in a bid to maintain good mental health for its workers.
When addressing the issue of mental health and excessive debt, Mokhesi said Government officials should stop taking up debts because it destroys their mental health, she stated that the potential dangers created by even mild stress should not be underestimated because it leads to long-term suffering, which is serious enough to render sanity. She justified this by saying the mind is unlike other body parts that can easily be repaired or replaced if they are damaged.
The Counsellor said at Mohlomi hospital, there is a gender divide in the usage of mental health services, noting that men consult mental health experts less frequently than women. She said males wait for the latter stage, which is incurable before seeking help.
She mentioned that mental health is the most neglected sickness in the country.
“Many people neglect taking care of their mental health and use anything as an excuse to not deal with it. Just like when you wake up, bath choose to wear makeup, to take care of your body voluntarily, you should take care of the mind as well,” said Mokhesi.
She highlighted that being mentally healthy is important because it determines “how we look at life, how we handle the challenges that life throws at us, and how we manage our relationships.”
Mental illness symptoms can affect emotions, thoughts and behaviors. According to the Mayo clinic report on mental health, signs and symptoms may include: feeling sad or down, confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate, excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt, extreme mood changes of highs and lows, withdrawal from friends and activities, significant tiredness, low energy or problems sleeping, detachment from reality, paranoia or hallucinations.
In condolence to this, the Ministry of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Health Deputy Principal Secretary (DPS) Lira Ralebese said the objective of the event was for workers to unwind and relax. Ralebese said workers under the Ministry of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs handle a lot of traumatizing cases that sometimes affect their mental health. He said another purpose of the expo was to bring health services in one place so that workers can get access to general information about good health which included screening and assessment.
Ralebese said this is the first expo in the ministry, but as time goes by, there will be a provision in all districts for personnel under the same ministry.