generalize mental health care

In Action contre la Faim, taking into account the mental health of the people we support and training health professionals in adequate care is essential for both individuals and society as a whole.

What is mental health?

Mental health is a state of psychological well-being, which allows people to cope with sources of stress in daily life, to realize their potential, to learn, to work well and to participate in the life of their communities.

Psychosocial support means a set of activities that meet the psychological and social needs of individuals, families, groups, communities, taking into account their realities and cultures.

Mental health in the far north region of Cameroon

In the Far North region, the main challenges related to understanding and considering mental health are related to both the perception of communities and the weaknesses of care facilities.

In fact, mental health, at the community level, is often perceived as a magical-religious issue, which explains the stigmatization of people with mental disorders.

Structurally, the region is experiencing a lack of staff availability to care for basic mental health needs. This difficulty is characterized by:

  • Insufficient primary health care staff trained in mental health care and approaches;
  • The lack of human resources in mental health at the hospital level;
  • The lack of inpatient training specifically dedicated to psychiatric care in the region;
  • Lack of mental health-related learning modules in training schools for general health personnel.

It is therefore more than necessary to promote access to mental health care for communities, through the promotion of mental health and its integration into health care facilities. Indeed, the mental health of individuals affects not only the people in question but also those around them. A trauma-stricken mother will have greater difficulty caring for herself and her child, in some cases putting the child at risk of malnutrition.

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