Mental Health Day 2017
The theme of the Mental Health Day 2017 is Mental health in the workplace . According to the World Health Organisation globally more than 300 million people suffer from depression, slightly less 260 million people world wide are living with anxiety disorders. Mental health problems do effect productivity on a personal as well as impact global economy due to loss in productivity of workforce.
Migrants want to feel good too
Many people from Sub-Saharan Africa, Horn of Africa and the Middle East have fled their home country in recent years due to crisis and have searched for a safer and better life in Europe. These people, despite many of them having experienced serious trauma pre-flight, have shown incredible resilience joint the European Workforce. The overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues is to support better general well being for all. Even though many migrants in Malta have been part of the Maltese workforce and pay their contributions in form of taxes, they have not managed to receive residence and work permit papers to give them a more permanent form of residence. This insecurity if one can stay and continue with life and work, is a constant stress factor. Mixed with lack of information on what one’s basic rights are this makes up a dangerous cocktail and paralysis many migrants to further pursue their career goals. As Adrian, a Ghanaian Migrant recently shared:
“It is up to God. I would wish my life could go forward but I feel stuck. I never know if I can stay or not. That makes me feel very bad and I start worrying. I have seen friends who did not manage to live well with this pressure of waiting for papers and so they really went mad (crazy) and some started drinking a lot. As for me, I cannot do more than wait. All is up to God.”
Mental Health for All
A project called MigrantHealth – Care, funded by the European Commission and started in May 2017, aims to create a road map for implementing effective community-based healthcare models in nine European countries (including Malta). This will improve physical and mental health care for refugees and immigrants, support their participation in society and reduce healthcare inequality. This project ensures that all members of society are being considered, migrants as well as the host community. At the end health is a basic right as the right to the pursuit of happiness is.
Locally, this project is run by Kopin. For more information, check out this link to our projects.
Disclaimer: Names in this article where changed to protect the identity of interviewees
Article by Dr Sharon Kassahun (firstname.lastname@example.org)