In several historical contexts, when any positive policy change is being sought for, there has most often been huge reliance and even outright involvement of the grassroots or community mobilization as it otherwise known. In the USA, Martin Luther King’s Civil Rights Movement of the 60s’, had such tremendous impact because of such community organization. A decade ago in the US once more, such intense community organization definitely played a huge role in the election of the first black President in the nation’s history.
There is strength in Numbers
It is no new assertion that there is strength in numbers. Campaigns succeed or fail depending largely on the numbers advocating for same. This is one of the strategies the Gbm Foundation For Epilepsy and Mental Wellbeing is largely relying on. Starting from a pilot programme area in the Lebialem Division of the South West Region of the Republic of Cameroon, we will chart our advocacy to the entire nation. We are conscious of the stigma surrounding open and positive discussions about mental health especially at the grassroots, but we know that with engaging, persevering and consistent action, affected people especially at the grassroots, will start to dare2talk about mental health. With such mass grassroots involvement, there is sure possibility for better policies where such already exists ( though in only 19 out of 45 surveyed African Countries according to WHO statistics). With mass grassroots engagement, the medical community will probably have more data for research, and will also see the need review of current treatment protocols, and management approaches of mental disorders.
Let’s dare2talk about
It is only by daring2talk about what is going on in our families, our communities, our societies, and even in our lives, that we can become more aware of the different options at finding better solutions to any challenges. It is only by daring2talk about it, that we can be taking seriously enough by the medical community and come to be considered as partners in treatment protocols, and not just consumers of diagnosis and medication. It is above all, important to dare2talk about it so that policy holders get a full grasp of the intensity of what has been called A silent Crisis in Africa.
Pressure from Below
There can be pressure from below, when an oppressed, marginalized, stigmatized, rejected and dejected, group of persons and their leaders or caretakers and givers, decide that they have had enough. This happened in the USA, in South Africa, and virtually every nation of the planet. It is time to stop relying only on ancient traditions, practices and beliefs, many of which have come to be proven as false and misleading.
The world is ready for change, and there has been a call by WHO that mental health be made an integral part of post 2015 Goals. This we argued yesterday, was because the global economy stood to lose out just so much, when Mental wealth got jeopardized by a poor mental Health.