The Importance of Discussing Mental Health

Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 10 2023 (ZIZ Newsroom):On Tuesday St. Kitts and Nevis joined countries across the globe in observing World Mental Health Day observed under the theme, “Mental Health is a Universal Right”.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) mental health is a basic human right for all people and everyone has a right to the highest attainable standard of mental health.

In the Federation, Director of the National Counseling Centre, Michelle De La Coudray-Blake said it’s important to have conversations about maintaining good mental health as mental health issues can affect anyone.

“It crosses all socio-economic barriers,” she said. “It is all encompassing. It crosses all situations, and people never know when their mental health could be challenged because of particular circumstances in life. So it means saying that this is a situation or a circumstance where all of us could at some time be dealing with things that impact our mental health.”

She said maintaining good mental health gives one the stability and resilience to deal with the daily stresses and interactions a person encounters.

“Good mental health allows us to understand how to manage and express feelings and emotions,” she said. “Good mental health allows us to know how to manage relationships, intimate, social, work, professional, just relationships. So good mental health gives us the balance for being able to just sort of manage life.”

Director Blake said good mental health comes from taking care of our biological self, or psychological self and our social self.

“So our biological self means that we have to take care of what happens to our body, what goes into our body, our sleep routines, what we take in, what we eat, what we drink,” she said. “Then the physical part of it, to make sure that we are functioning, that we could think, that we could remember clearly that we could process, then of course there’s the psychological aspect that’s internal, how we think, how we interpret things, how we manage things, how we manage emotions. And the social, we are social beings and we need to have connections to people and groups that sustain us.”

According to the World Health Organization all over the world, people with mental health conditions continue to experience a wide range of human rights violations.

Many are excluded from community life and discriminated against, while many more cannot access the mental health care they need or can only access care that violates their human rights.

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