World Mental health day: a better world for the young

World Mental Health Day is an annual commemoration focused on the mental health of all human beings. The day is largely commemorated and driven by the World Health Organisation, WHO, which is responsible for the overall health of all of earth’s population.

This year, 2018, the World Mental Health Day is commemorated under the theme: Young People and Mental health in a changing world. As you may know the world is rapidly changing and this is because of the technological boom that we have been experiencing in this millennium. We now have the “internet of things” which bring the whole world to our fingertips. No place on earth is too far or anyone too far but everything is accessible via the World Wide Web and information is available.

Though this is a good thing with many positives there are some bad side effects to it. The good things also include the ability to do research and network with individuals outside your community which is a good thing for young people as they are mostly students. The bad that has come with it is the reduction in physical social interaction since the development of online social media platforms which people prefer to use more especially the young. For those that would have ran to these platforms shying away from physical interaction still find it even on these platforms. Bullying, abuse, fraud etc. are rife on these platforms and these contribute negatively to the mental health of young people. The societal pressures to perform and be active on these platforms is too much for one to bear.

We even took to the polls a few weeks ago on this issue of mental health. A week long poll was run asking respondents if they are aware that mental health is a growing concern. Over the years, more especially in rural Africa, mental illness were a result of witchcraft and anybody seen to be mentally ill was deemed to have been bewitched. We have however, over the years realised that it is not only so and mental illnesses are a health issue. 100% of our respondents are aware of mental illness and believe that it is a growing concern that needs to be addressed. With organisations like WHO and the efforts they are making towards this, we will definitely get somewhere and overcome this.