Focus on children's mental health, WHO urges African leaders

Helen-Maria Vasiliadis

Helen-Maria Vasiliadis

According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag), 9% of all teen deaths are due to suicide.

Lady Gaga has penned an emotional essay on mental health in honour of World Mental Health Day. It was in 1992 that it was first celebrated, an initiative by the World Federation for Mental Health.

The op-ed also mentioned new research they hope will help in "scaling up" the global push to provide access to mental health care, turning it into a worldwide effort, "similar to the movement for HIV/AIDS". One such discussion was held on Twitter earlier this year during May, which is considered as Mental Health Month.

She says that young children, some as young as six-years-old, can also be affected by mental health issues.

The governor explained that people with mental health problems deserve love, care, understanding and support.

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Other factors identified as compounding stress in adolescents are the expanding online technologies which undoubtedly bring many benefits, but can also exert additional pressure when people feel the need to be constantly connected. More definitely needs to be done to help teens in crisis. There are not enough specialised hospitals or specialised psychiatric hospital beds for children and adolescents.

He told Sky Sports News: "Mental health is indiscriminate to whatever size house you live in, whatever auto you drive, how much money you have in the bank, how many holidays you have".

Like most low and middle income countries, Zimbabwe puts people with mental health problems in hospitals, rather than treating them in the community, says Professor Dixon Chibanda of the University of Zimbabwe - one of the country's handful of trained psychiatrists.

Hundreds of millions of pounds allocated to improve mental health services for children may not have been spent as intended and could have been used elsewhere, Whitehall's spending watchdog has concluded. "And despite how educated we are, there's pretty good evidence it's getting worse".

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