Africa-Press – Lesotho. Young Adults Fighting Depression (YAFID) celebrated World Mental Health Day on Saturday at Durham Link premises. At the occasion, the chairperson and Co-founder of YAFID ‘Mampheng Mpheng Molefe
indicated that YAFID commemorates the day through raising awareness and advocating for good mental health in the kingdom of Lesotho so that young adults can bring the change that they want and ensure that in the end, mental
health is a priority for all people. According to Molefe, YAFID resumed its operations in 2018 with the aim to raise awareness and share the importance of good mental health.
YAFID is mandated to act as a link between young adults struggling with mental health and the professionals like psychologists, psychiatrics and social workers .
“Global mortality statistics from World Health Organization (WHO) signifies that Lesotho
is the number one country in Africa with the highest suicidal rate. This is because mental health is not a priority in our country as there are no basic
services such as prevention of suicide and the stigma that goes around the topic of mental health in the country,” Molefe noted. She said most people – especially
the young adults – are not able to open up about their mental health struggles with their parents to find support and it has been established that some workers in
the corporate world are also reluctant to go to their seniors to ask for some time off when struggling with their mental health. “So we are the ones who can
ensure that the topic of mental health is no longer a stigma in the country. Mental illnesses that YAFID is focusing on other than depression include, anxiety
disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and psychiatric disorder,” indicated the Chairperson of YAFID. The Medical and Psychiatric Social Worker Lineo Mafa made a presentation about the
state of mental health in Lesotho basically focusing on the young adults and how mental disorders affect them on a daily basis without even realizing.
Among other mental disorders she talked of depression, anxiety and post traumatic disorder. She showed that the theme for the year 2020 is “mental health for all”
and the main purpose of selecting this theme is the emergence of Covid-19, and how it affected people mentally due to an increase on the existing unemployment
rate through retrenchments, hunger and death among others. “Mental Health determines how people handle stress, relate to others and make some choices,
so when talking of depression, if a person is stressed up and that situation lasts for more than 3 weeks, that causes depression which ends up changing or affecting
feelings, thinking and behavior that can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. That posed depression might result in symptoms similar to loss of
appetite, unsociable, insomnia or oversleeping,” Mafa said. She said anxiety is another type of mental disorder that can be unhealthy or uncontrollable to the young adults.
“Some of the common signs with unhealthy anxiety disorder may be over-fearing things that did not happen in life or that
are coming about, like the fear of going to school only to fail exams or be unemployed after completing, while healthy anxiety can pose a detailed focus on something
achievable like meeting own deadlines or finishing off something. Whereas post traumatic disorder mostly affects the youth with sharp minds, who tend to store negative
experiences from their past life,” she highlighted. YAFID Vice Chairperson (VC) Relebohile Sello in an exclusive interview with Informative Newspaper added that high unemployment rate is another critical
thing which causes mental disorders among young adults in the country. “Some turned out to head families at an early age, therefore facing unemployment adds
to their financial strains. Others are badly frustrated by the fact that they were hopeful that after graduation, they will easily make their way to achieving their dreams, and as they compare with others who were lucky to be
employed, it creates serious mental illnesses while others are eager to become entrepreneurs but are worried and acquire a dread on how to start their
businesses without capital,” Sello explained. This event was made successful with the presence of the following professionals; Psychologist Nathane Mokebisa, and the Clinical Neurophysiologist ‘Matšepang Tsoako.