Black Mental Health Matters Celebrates One Year Anniversary Slated For 27th June

BLACK MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS CELEBRATES ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY SLATED FOR 27TH JUNE, 2021. Black Mental Health Matters will this Sunday celebrate its first year anniversary amidst covid19 disrupting mental health services in Africa and most countries as per WHO survey. The international virtual event will bring together Mental Health Professionals from various fields and the theme of the event will be : Gender Based Based violence, substance abuse and mental health in relationships. Black Mental Health Matters is an international Mental Health Advocacy movement to dispel myths, network Mental Health Professionals, encourage open dialogue around Mental health among Black Communities, eradicate stigma and provide an enabling environment for people suffering from depression, anxiety, PTSD,PTSS or trauma to heal. Each Saturday at 5PM EAT/2PM GMT Black Mental Health Matters runs a weekly show focusing on different aspects of Mental Health. The year 2020 was received with much elation little did we know that the world will be hit by a pandemic this current generation has never experience. In the month of January,2020 the worldwide dreaded viral pandemic hit the entire world and people of African descent were not exempted from covid19 effects. Paramount among the effects were how lives and property were lost. Renowned Medical experts were taken by surprise and this actually affected the mental health of everyone. As medical and mental health experts under the leadership of Mr. Daniel Mwambonu , the founder of Black Mental Health Matters with Dr. Unati Makiwane the pioneer host of Black Mental Health Matters show and now the President of Black Mental Health Matters assisted by a team of Mental health and health professionals across around the world the world have transformed this into an international mental health advocacy movement. Our main objective is to provide mental health advocacy and education using available online tools to reach the world every Saturday while at the same time seeking to establish an institution which will focus on Mental Health Research and promote overall mental wellbeing of people of African descent who suffer due to huge disparities when it comes to access to mental health services . The Black Mental Health Matters has over seventy Mental Health, and advocates who are people of African descent and passionate about Mental Health from these professionals a number of host around the world, this initiative has really brought users and professionals on a table of discussion. We at Black Mental Health Matters will like to invite all to join us on 27th June as we celebrate the maiden anniversary of mental health revolution. Mission Our mission is to promote mental health awareness, encourage mental health research, advocate for mental health reforms, champion for mental health rights for people of African descent, combat medical racism, create the infrastructure that Africa needs for Mental health, encourage Preventive approaches, dispel myths about Mental Health and eradicate stigma among Black Communities. Vision Our vision is to provide holistic and culturally sensitive mental healthcare ,enable access to Universal Mental Healthcare Services and Eradicating Mental Health Stigma among people of African descent. Objectives To provide mental health awareness mainly via a bi-pronged approach- technology( for people who have access to the internet ) and grass root mass education To provide a forum for early assessments and early intervention so help can be given promptly . Normalizing the conversation around mental health amongst the black community Promoting mental wellness amongst black communities Eradicating Mental Stigma Amongst People of African descent. Encouraging mental health reforms and lobby for policy changes to address disparities. Networking all Black Mental Health Professionals and establishing a Mental Health Bank Never in History has the importance of Mental Health has ever been brought out to the forefront like it is now as the pandemic rages ,so is the mental health pandemic surges in Africa and also in the diaspora . COVID AND MENTAL HEALTH The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted or halted critical mental health services in 93% of countries worldwide while the demand for mental health is increasing, according to a new WHO survey. The survey of 130 countries provides the first global data showing the devastating impact of COVID-19 on access to mental health services and underscores the urgent need for increased funding. The survey was published ahead of WHO’s Big Event for Mental Health ̶ a global online advocacy event on 10 October that will bring together world leaders, celebrities, and advocates to call for increased mental health investments in the wake of COVID-19. WHO has previously highlighted the chronic underfunding of mental health: prior to the pandemic, countries were spending less than 2 per cent of their national health budgets on mental health, and struggling to meet their populations’ needs. And the pandemic is increasing demand for mental health services. Bereavement, isolation, loss of income and fear are triggering mental health conditions or exacerbating existing ones. Many people may be facing increased levels of alcohol and drug use, insomnia, and anxiety. Meanwhile, COVID-19 itself can lead to neurological and mental complications, such as delirium, agitation, and stroke. People with pre-existing mental, neurological or substance use disorders are also more vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection ̶ they may stand a higher risk of severe outcomes and even death. “Good mental health is absolutely fundamental to overall health and well-being,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “COVID-19 has interrupted essential mental health services around the world just when they’re needed most. World leaders must move fast and decisively to invest more in life-saving mental health programmes ̶ during the pandemic and beyond.” Survey finds major disruptions to critical mental health services The survey was conducted from June to August 2020 among 130 countries across WHO’s six regions. It evaluates how the provision of mental, neurological and substance use services has changed due to COVID-19, the types of services that have been disrupted, and how countries are adapting to overcome these challenges. Countries reported widespread disruption of many kinds of critical mental health services: Over 60% reported disruptions to mental health services for vulnerable people, including children and adolescents (72%), older adults (70%), and women requiring antenatal or postnatal services (61%). 67% saw disruptions to counseling and psychotherapy; 65% to critical harm reduction services; and 45% to opioid agonist maintenance treatment for opioid dependence. More than a third (35%) reported disruptions to emergency interventions, including those for people experiencing prolonged seizures; severe substance use withdrawal syndromes; and delirium, often a sign of a serious underlying medical condition. 30% reported disruptions to access for medications for mental, neurological and substance use disorders. Around three-quarters reported at least partial disruptions to school and workplace mental health services (78% and 75% respectively). While many countries (70%) have adopted telemedicine or teletherapy to overcome disruptions to in-person services, there are significant disparities in the uptake of these interventions. More than 80% of high-income countries reported deploying telemedicine and teletherapy to bridge gaps in mental health, compared with less than 50% of low-income countries. WHO has issued guidance to countries on how to maintain essential services ̶ including mental health services ̶ during COVID-19 and recommends that countries allocate resources to mental health as an integral component of their response and recovery plans. The Organization also urges countries to monitor changes and disruptions in services so that they can address them as required. Although 89% of countries reported in the survey that mental health and psychosocial support is part of their national COVID-19 response plans, only 17% of these countries have full additional funding for covering these activities. This all highlights the need for more money for mental health. As the pandemic continues, even greater demand will be placed on national and international mental health programmes that have suffered from years of chronic underfunding. Spending 2% of national health budgets on mental health is not enough. International funders also need to do more: mental health still receives less than 1% of international aid earmarked for health. Those who do invest in mental health will reap rewards. Pre-COVID-19 estimates reveal that nearly US$ 1 trillion in economic productivity is lost annually from depression and anxiety alone. However, studies show that every US$ 1 spent on evidence-based care for depression and anxiety returns US$5. Here is the link to tune in and follow the event:

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