Speak up when facing problems – Chief of Staff to men

Major General Joseph Prince Osei-Owusu, the Chief of Staff (COS) of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has advised men to speak up when going through challenges.

The COS, during an address to the uniformed personnel after a health walk at Burma Camp, Accra, encouraged them to share their problems with others and not keep things to themselves.

That, he said, would prevent stress which could lead to exhibiting abnormal behaviours and mental breakdowns.

The health walk was to raise awareness about men’s mental health.

The five-kilometre walk was on the theme: ‘Promoting the Mental Health of Men in a Gender-Sensitive Armed Forces’.

‘Most men have mental problem, but it is not known. That’s why most of the time, it is men that commit suicide, that is why this week has been set aside to sensitise men to speak up when they have problems’, Maj. Gen. Osei-Owusu said.

He urged them to be ‘each other’s keeper’ by engaging friends or close partners who exhibited abnormal behaviours as a result of stressful conditions or
any other problems.

That, he said, would help mitigate the harm that people in such conditions were capable of doing to themselves.

‘When you see your brother, or your sister behave abnormally, or you notice something unusual about her, please talk to him or her. If you cannot do that, look for somebody closer to that person to talk to him or her to ease the tension. For all you know, the person needs somebody to talk to. And once you are able to talk to that person the pressure that is on him would be released and if he’s planning something funny on him or herself, he will stop it,’ he stressed.

Mental health, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), is a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realise their abilities, learn and work well, and contribute to their community.

Statistics from the WHO indicate that 13 per cent of Ghanaians battle with some form of mental disorder with three per cent living with extreme conditions.

Though mental disorders ar
e reported to be prevalent among females, men, according to the WHO are more likely not to seek treatment in a health facility due to stigma, societal and cultural norms and expectations.

The WHO in 2020 reported that approximately 1,993 suicides occur in Ghana annually.

A report in Ghana on suicide attempt trends over four years also revealed that 707 suicide attempts occurred in 2018, 880 in 2019, 777 in 2020 and 417 as of June 2021.

Source: Ghana News Agency