Mental Health and SDG’s? I guess the Apple Doesn’t Fall far From the Tree!
You may not believe! This is the best time to live life. Yes, according to an article that appeared on WEF, it alluringly connoted that the “human race has never had it so good”. How these can be when “We live in the most uncertain times. It would be rash for anybody to predict with any degree of certainty what will happen in the future.”
I am very excited to be part of the founding class of UNLEASH innovation lab which brings together 1,000 SDG talents to create solutions to the Sustainable Development Goals. While here I choose to work on the HEALTH theme and sub-theme #MentalHealth.
Goal 3 of the SDGs is to: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. I believe to be able to effectively tackle the SDG’s the health of the world needs to be the hot topic; the major benefits for body composition, as well as physical and mental health will kick start productivity in other areas.
As a psychologist I understand too well how our emotions transcend cultures and provides a powerful lens through which we experience everything around us. How we relate to our emotions directly influences our judgment, decision-making, cognition, and ability to connect with others.
Mental Health can strike anyone at any time. The behavioral disorders like they say do not discriminate. From CEO’s of fortune 500 companies to young mothers in rural Kenya. It can strike anyone. Mental healthcare services are often not available or are under-utilized, particularly in developing countries.
What are we doing to be part of the solution?
As a new graduate psychologist I had a burning to be like ELON. This brought me to Amani Institute, an Education organization preparing next-generation talent to tackle global challenges through social innovation.
As a Fellow I started a new venture that explored how millions of Kenyan’s suffer from mental illness but lack the care they deserve. Where even among those who can afford to pay for it, lack to recognize its importance. My target for the last eighteen month’s has been to work with schools and organizations. We discovered that, with over 35,000 schools in Kenya, private and public. Only 15 of the schools had a full time psychologist or access to one. Large corporate organizations hardly ever use services of psychologists in their day to day activities.
With no covers for mental health, this is part of a larger development related problem. Depression and stress disorders adversely affect people’s ability to work. Mental illness creates a potential burden on families and generally leads to greater poverty. It therefore has a significant economic impact upon the rest of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The main questions I have been exploring being;
1. How might we get health professionals and a variety of intervention to mental health cases to the developing world?
2. How might we help organization understand that improving the psychological well-being of their workforce brings benefits for both the individual employees and the organization as a whole?
I have to agree networking and connection points are a great area to start. This is why am excited about #UNLEASHLAB2017. Collaboration brings great perspectives to finding new solutions. See you in Denmark.
Let’s not forget, “human race has never had it so good”.