October 5, 2012
SVG joins in celebration of 20th anniversary of World Mental Health Day

Activities to mark the observance of World Mental Health Day in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) will begin on Sunday and continue during next week.{{more}}

The 20th anniversary of World Mental Health Day will take place on October 10, and this year, depression is being brought to the fore, because of its ability to affect anyone and it is perhaps one of the most widespread conditions not being easily recognised as such and often presents alongside other serious illnesses.

“Sadly, many regard depression and other mental conditions as irreversible, but the World Health Organization (W.H.O) wants the message proclaimed that depression is a treatable illness, and that recovery from the condition is possible and achievable,” a release from Sister Peggy DaSilva, Senior Nursing Officer at the Mental Health Rehabilitation Centre said.

According to WHO, the trends indicate that depressive mental disorders are expected to become the leading cause of the global burden of disease by 2030, hence the push to increase awareness of the disease and its consequences.

One of the most dreadful consequences of depression is suicide; research shows that it is responsible for 90 per cent of the cases. In SVG for 2012, five cases involving young adults have been recorded.

Here in SVG, the staff at the Mental Health Centre in Villa has planned and organized a week of activities to commemorate this day. These activities will be held from this Sunday to Saturday, October 13.

These will include daily radio presentations, health education sessions at schools, a public awareness day to be held at the Vegetable Market and will culminate with a concert put on by the Seventh Day Adventists at the Mental Health Centre.

The aim of hosting activities to observe World Mental Health Day is to raise public awareness about mental health issues and this year in particular, depression, the release said.

It is hoped that members of the Vincentian public and the international community would obtain heightened awareness of depression, its causes, signs and what can be done to deal with it. This is particularly important, since depression is a significant risk factor for suicide.

The staff of the Mental Health Centre urges Vincentians to be supportive of the activities which have been organised to observe World Mental Health Day and to pay particular attention to the issues of depression, since “health is not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, it is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being,” the release said.