“If we don’t act now, by 2030 depression will be the globally leading Illness”-WHO
In their quest to sensitize the public about depression, Botswana Network for Mental Health in partnership with Captive Eye have taken a bold step to call on Batswana to walk for the cause and launch war against depression which is a mental disorder. The long overdue walk is scheduled to take place on 3rd February 2018 from 05:30 to 10:00hrs, the meeting point is National Youth Centre at G-west phase 1.
Keamogetse Mothibedi, a volunteer at Botswana Network for Mental Health says the walk is specifically for depression because the World Health Organisation (WHO) says that if we don’t act now, by 2030 depression will be the globally leading illness. “So this is our effort towards raising awareness on the issue of depression but of course not neglecting other mental illnesses,” she said adding that Botswana Network for Mental Health is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals also known as Agenda 2030 which speaks on good health, wellbeing and more specifically goal number 3.4 which stresses the promotion of mental health and wellbeing.
When asked if we have an alarming number of depression cases in Botswana Mothibedi admitted that they have observed the high numbers as they move on the ground doing their awareness talks.
“Even though as an organization we don’t have concrete statistics to present, we observe the high numbers as we move on the ground. From previous years to date, our country has experienced an increased number of suicide cases,” she opined further highlighting that etiological factors that cause depression include our lifestyle, environment, unemployment, retrenchment, divorce, expectations versus reality among others.
She pointed out that they currently don’t have inhouse counseling but it is in the pipeline and they currently do referrals. “We have noticed that most people aren’t open to going for counseling so when someone comes to us with an issue and they are reluctant to go for counseling, we try our best to put forth the benefits of counseling so that they can get professional assistance,” she says.
The walk is supported by Samsung stores and lions club Phakalane and the proposed theme colours for the walk are lime, white and black.