Our island’s 40th Anniversary of Independence

Greetings YO! readers, as we prepare to celebrate our island’s 40th Anniversary of Independence, I would like to touch on a subject that has been in our news of late. No, I won’t be focusing on the excessive gun violence that claimed yet another life during the week, my attention is solely on a matter that I believe isn’t getting the adequate amount of attention needed – Mental Health.

According to www.healthyplace.com, mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior.

There are many different conditions that are recognized as mental illnesses including anxiety disorders, mood disorders (the most common being depression, bipolar disorder, and cyclothymic disorder), Impulse control and addiction disorders (where persons are unable to resist urges, or impulses, to perform acts that could be harmful to themselves or others), Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to name a few.

Mental illness is an issue that seems to be taboo here on this island. People appear to be genuinely afraid to openly discuss the issues surrounding an illness that quite frankly none of us are immune to. When it does become a topic, it is normally surrounded by laughter and comedy; “mate, mate is a mad man gah” and the lol follows. However, it shouldn’t come as a surprise and no laughing matter to learn that in every community (sometimes unbeknownst to us) is someone suffering from Mental Illness and very often family members aren’t equipped to assist their loved one or sadly, they just don’t care to.

The recent news report and successive video clips of a young man in his early twenties, who according to individuals known to him, was living a happy life, behaving in a manner not known to be of sound mind raised many alarm bells and had individuals questioning his mental status.

It has been reported that he left a reign of terror on families, especially children, afterhe illegally entered vehicles, a school compound and a super market. So far it would appear that he is without a family and every time he was detained, just like an individual with a top notch lawyer, he is back on the streets by night fall.

Anyone who had a chance to viewing the videos will vehemently agree that the young man is in dire need of professional help. We should not be afraid to have open and frank discussions about mental health all together.  “Talking about mental illness can help those struggling realize they are not alone on their way to recovery and that they are not the only one who feels the way they do. For those who are not affected by mental illness firsthand, the conversation about mental illness can help inform them about risk factors, symptoms, treatment, and prevention methods, which will allow them to then help the people around them.”

We shouldn’t live in denial either or claim that someone is faking an ailment just for attention. It is such attitudes that will make the individual’s road to recovery much longer and sometimes unsuccessful as they often feel isolated, stereotyped, shameful, or discriminated against.

That’s all for me this weekend ya’ll have a safe and productive one.

Take care and God bless.


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