By: Joyceline Stephens - Kyzzfmonline
June 29, 2023

The Embraced Community is a group that originated from Embraced Minds in Sekondi Takoradi.

Its main objective is to raise awareness about mental health and illness while combating the associated stigma.

The group, led by Mimi Nana Ama Addo, aims to encourage individuals to seek counseling and professional help when needed.

Mimi Nana Ama Addo - Founder Embraced Minds Community

On June 28, 2023, the group organized a mental health discussion focusing on common misconceptions about mental illness.

The speaker, Edwin Turkson, a mental health nurse at Tamale Hospital, shared the World Health Organization's definition of mental health as a state of well-being in which individuals recognize their own abilities, effectively cope with life's normal stresses, work productively, and contribute to their communities.

Edwin Turkson

He emphasized that mental illness does not discriminate and is not limited to specific groups of people. He debunked the myth that mental illness cannot be treated, highlighting that it can be managed and treated, similar to other medical conditions such as diabetes.

Seeking early medical attention is crucial.

Addressing the misconception that all mentally ill individuals are violent, Turkson explained that the majority of people with mental health problems are not prone to violence.

Only a small percentage of violent acts can be attributed to individuals with serious mental illness.

In fact, individuals with severe mental illnesses are more likely to be victims of violent crime than perpetrators.

Turkson further emphasized that many people with mental health problems lead active and productive lives within their communities.

He also countered the belief that mental health issues are untreatable, stating that studies show people with mental health problems can improve and even recover completely.

Treatment, services, and community support systems are more accessible than ever before.

In response to the question of whether mental illness can be inherited, Turkson confirmed that it can be passed down through generations, including from grandparents and not necessarily immediate family members.

Regarding depression, Turkson clarified that feeling depressed is a normal human experience, but it becomes a mental illness when it significantly interferes with daily activities.

He encouraged individuals experiencing prolonged depression to seek help promptly.

Turkson concluded by urging everyone to treat individuals with mental illness with respect, just as they would with anyone else.

Mimi Nana Ama Addo emphasized that the purpose of the discussion was to raise awareness about mental illness and promote literacy in mental health.

The goal is to help people recognize signs when someone needs help and to foster a supportive environment.