By Maimuna Sey-Jawo
Forward for You Foundation, in collaboration with the directorate of health promotion and Education under the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, recently wrapped up a day’s forum on men and mental health.
It ended at the American Corner along Kairaba Avenue, and was designed to bring youths together to talk about some of the issues causing mental health among young people, particularly men. They also discussed and mapped out a way forward.
The deputy director of Health promotion and education, Sanjally Trawally, said mental health should be everyone’s business as anyone could “become a victim”.
To that end, he reaffirmed his government’s commitment and promised continued partnership with organisations or institutes in reducing mental sickness in the country.
Dr Kalilu Jagne, a psychiatrist at Tanka-Tanka, called on people to stop neglecting the mentally disturbed individuals they take to the psychiatric hospital, as they hardly go back to check on them during their stay there.
“When they are asked to come and take them back home after treatment, some never turn out and the hospital only have 100 beds.”
Forward for You coordinator, Arminda Gomez, said discussions on mental health can be considered a “novelty avenue in the ardent mental health awareness efforts, encouraging men to break free from the notion that emotional expression is a form of weakness.”
She defined the forum as a medium for open discussion on current views and ideas on the rising mental health crisis among men in the country and the possible contributing factors.