Pretoria - Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has called on South Africans to regard mental health as an integral part of overall individual health and wellbeing ahead of World Mental Health Day.
World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year.
"During this day we call on society to accord mental health the attention it requires. Mental health cannot be ignored or neglected as it is crucial to the overall wellbeing of individuals, society and the country," said the minister.
World Mental Health Day is aimed at raising public awareness about mental health issues. The day promotes open discussion of mental illnesses or disorders, the extent of the problem and how to access treatment services.
This year the international theme is "Investing in mental health". It is hoped the theme will bring attention to the need to allocate adequate financial and human resources to mental health to ensure that the best possible mental health services are available and accessible to those that require them.
The burden of mental illness gives rise to huge social and economic consequences to individuals, their families and whole communities. Mental illness creates a huge burden on families, especially the primary care givers and impacts on the family's quality of life.
According to the Department of Health, one in four people will be affected by mental disorder at some point in their lives.
High levels of mental illness have been found to co-occur with infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis as well as non-communicable diseases such as cancers, cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus among others. - BuaNews