MAYO commemorates World Mental Health Day

Mayo director Abel Mavura

Marvel Act Youth Organisation (Mayo) last week joined the world in commemorating World Mental Health Day under the theme Make mental health for all a global priority.

On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, which is commemorated annually on October 10, Mayo is calling for stronger, more inclusive, accessible and prevention for youths and women in Zimbabwe.

The organisation’s founder and director Abel Mavura said: “The day is for acknowledging mental health importance and being open and accepting about it and prioritise the availability of and access to care and treatment.”

“Mental health and physical health are connected and leads to emotional ills like anxiety and depression which highly affect the quality of life of a person and even the lives of those around them.

“In our organisation, we have seen youths and women who have experienced mental trauma, survived gender based violence and online abuse just to mention a few. 

“The 2022 State of World Population focused on unintended pregnancy and reported that ‘it is often a casual factor in depression and worsened psychological well being’.

“Also research ‘found that women who had become pregnant unintentionally were at a significantly higher risk of developing postpartum depression than women who had become pregnant by choice’.

Mavura said more practice was needed in advancing gender equality, ending gender-based violence and harmful practices, eliminating traumatic birth injuries, providing comprehensive sexuality education and voluntary family planning services to address and educate on the issue of unintended pregnancy.

“All these play a great role in contributing to the human right of health body and mind, not to mention  a safer world,” he said.

“More work is needed on seeking mental health for all for it is a human right and no one should be left behind.

“Policy and decision makers should invest in the social drivers of mental health and they should strengthen mental health systems.”

Mavura said the Covid-19 pandemic raised the calamities that wreaked havoc on people’s mental health and wellbeing. 

“The pandemic protracted destabilising economic conditions, violence, discrimination, injustice and inequality,” he said.

“The global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by 25%, with young people and women affected the most.

“Mental health has become a crisis in the terms that it is misunderstood, stigmatised and mostly untreated illness.”

Mayo field officer Patience Faranisi said human rights abuses against people with mental health conditions occur around the globe.

“This happens in Zimbabwe because of the poor services and the violations of rights do get accelerated by people not being able to access adequate and effective care,” she said.

“Despite the many encouraging developments taking place in mental health field people with lived experience  of mental health  conditions should be given the priority  to attain the highest possible level of health and to participate fully in society and at work, free from stigmatisation  and discrimination.”

She said these days a lot of people were working in the area of mental health bringing a lot more diversity and creativity in the way that the world try to address the problem.

 Mayo Zimbabwe is a youth and women-focused non-governmental organisation that seeks to contribute to the development and empowerment of young people in marginalised communities, eradication of poverty, injustices, conflicts, violence through advocacy for equality, child, youth and women's rights.

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