Research suggests that mental illness is a result of abnormalities in how particular brain circuits function. We can therefore re-imagine mental health as brain health. Understanding this biological and neurological basis of mental health issues can help decrease stigma and encourage the utilisation of available mental health services
"a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community" - WHO
MENTAL HEALTH IN AFRICA
Are you experiencing any mental health problems, or do you need a mental health check? Below is a list of mental health services available in Botswana, South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.
Services in Botswana
Dr. Zoran Zoric
The only private practising psychiatrist in Botswana, based in Riverwalk. To see him you pay 10% and medical aid covers the rest.
+267 72 247 915
Services in South Africa
Lifeline offers 24-hour, 365 days a year telephone counselling, face-to-face appointments with a counsellor at Lifeline centres, trauma interventions and more. They have branches in Soweto, Alexandra and Norwood.
011 728 1347
Services in Nigeria
Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI)
MANI is a non-profit organization that raises awareness on mental health and illnesses. The organisation also works to connect service users to mental health professionals.
Services in Kenya
This hospital has a mental health department offering services in child psychiatry, Psychosocial and occupational therapy, HIV counselling and many more. This hospital is the oldest in Kenya and is located in Nairobi.
Oxford Well-Being Hub
The Oxford well-being hub provides students with access to mental health services. They offer counselling, disability advisory services (DAS), sexual harassment and violence support services, and student resolution services.
All specialist services provided are confidential and free to access.
MENTAL HEALTH TIPS
DEALING WITH A PANIC OR ANXIETY ATTACK
4-7-8 breathing exercise - This technique helps aid relaxation by triggering your parasympathetic nervous system. To use it, breath in for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds.
The 54321 method - This is a common grounding technique that you can use if you're having an anxiety attack. (This technique is all about engaging your 5 senses.)
identify 5 things you can see
4 things you can feel
acknowledge 3 things you can hear
2 things you can smell
1 thing you can taste
GENERAL MENTAL HEALTH TIPS
Stay physically active - Something small like a walk or a workout can take your mind off stress and it keeps you healthy.
Improve your sleep hygiene - A healthy sleep is important to both your physical and mental health. A good sleep hygiene include being consistent with your sleep schedule, and following a relaxing nightly routine.
Unplug - Limit the time you spend on social media or checking the news.
Dont be afraid to ask for help - If you notice yourself struggling, Utilise available mental health services or speak to a friend.