Mr. Pious Tay, the Tema Metropolitan Health Coordinator, has advised women to take their mental health issues very seriously as more women are at risk of suffering from depression than men. Mr. Tay said even though depression could occur among all genders, it is seen more among women due to hormonal changes interplaying with other life-related issues. He stated that depression was a state of mind or health of an individual where the person's emotions become disturbed, adding that depressed persons have a sense of sadness, a low mood, a low level of energy, fatigue, as well as a low or high level of appetite, among others. The Tema Metro Health Directorate of the Ghana Health Services has joined forces with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) to engage in a month of relentless public advocacy to mark World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD). The WSPD is an awareness day observed on September 10 every year to provide worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides, with various activities around the world since 2003. Speaking on the topic 'Depression,' during an engagement at the GNA health project dubbed, 'Your Health: Our Collective Responsibility,' Mr. Tay noted that the hormonal or endocrine changes in women put them at higher risk of depression. The weekly 'Your Health! Our Collective Responsibility! A GNA initiative aimed at promoting health-related communication and providing a platform for health information dissemination to influence personal health choices through improved health literacy. The GNA developed the public health advocacy platform 'Your Health! Our Collective Responsibility' to investigate the components of four health communication approaches: informing, instructing, convincing, and promoting. Mr Tay added that maternal issues, motherhood, extra load, house chores, finances, and childbirth stresses were other factors. He said women aged between 37 and 47 who were yet to get married were likely to fall into depression as they expected to have been married by then and were also thinking about their delay in having children. Mr. Tay added, however, that those above that age, even if not married, have accepted their fate and moved on, therefore having less risk of developing depression from their conditions. He indicated that being at the stage of an empty nest and having old-age illnesses without adequate funding for medication could also lead some people, including men, to depression. He advised the public to seek help at the various mental health units at the public health institutions, where their situation would be monitored for some time and other clinical investigations done for diagnosis and treatment. He also urged relatives and friends to offer some support for people going through depression by encouraging them to seek professional help.
Source: Ghana News Agency