Hello World, this week we share a personal post by the Programme Director of the Gbm-em Foundation, who is the mother of late Gabriel Bebonbechem.
The above design of a health care system depicts a near perfect system that can guarantee efficient support to any category of patients especially mental health patients. It is a typical integrated care system that puts together all that is necessary for the holistic well-being of the patient.
However, I have had an experience that points to the existence of a hidden enemy in the system and favors the abuse of the mentally ill, whose illness by the way could be considered as a hidden one too. There is so much stigma, shame, marginalization and distrust involved, one will thing there are some ‘highly influential forces and interests’ at stake other than those of the patient and his family as the case may be.
Theabove picture shows a list of 8 medication that was being dished out to my son daily in order to manage epilepsy and mental illness. At the time of his death on the 2nd of August 2014, he was visibly suffering from unattended side effects of medication. Repeated appeal and distress calls by myself to his care-givers yielded no fruits until he was found dead in his apartment and the result of the autopsy is still awaited almost one year after.
While medication is a vital part of the care-giving to the mentally ill in the context of a structured system; I now believe that abusive prescription and medication dispensing to mental health patients who cannot discern and complain, un-assisted, is the hidden enemy. While proving and pressing charges against medical abuse in health care systems remains a “monster”, I believe, from personal experience, that care-giving to people living with epilepsy and mental illnesses needs to tame and eliminate the enemy through effective and efficient checks and balances, and appropriate advocacy.
Epilepsy and Mental Illnesses are in my opinion hidden illnesses. Very little is said or done about them both globaly or at several national levels. The WHO itself realised this mishap only over a decade ago, when its first ever report on mental health was released. Much sensitization, advocacy and campaigns are seen and heard about non life threatening causes, or other physical illnesses, but the world still awaits for the percentage of involvment in these hidden illnesses to cross the current 1% as disclosed by the WHO.
The Gbm-em Foundation is therefore determined to promote its noble LetsDare2Talk About it Campaign, and the fruits will slowly but surely ripen.