HUYE – Mental Health students at the National University of Rwanda, last Friday, marked the World Mental Health Day with a call on the public to take part in supporting and caring for mentally ill people.
The students, grouped under the Medical Students Mental Health Association (MMHA), marched through Huye town, and later joined by Genocide orphans living in Tumba, Matyazo and Huye villages.
They carried placards bearing slogans which called for action to help mentally-ill people such as. One of the writings read, “Mentally ill people are not mad”.
They also shouted slogans urging the general public to protect those with mental disabilities.
“The large number of mentally-ill people we see on the streets is mainly due to the population’s ignorance and lack of care. Isolation makes them get worse but approaching and caring for them can help improve their health”, observed Gilbert Uwitonze, the Deputy coordinator of Mental Health Empowerment Project in the Southern Province (MHEP); a project under the MMHA.
“We hope such campaigns can help in raising awareness about mental health and how the public can play a role in reducing the number of those affected”, he added. This was the second time MMHA celebrated the Day.
The World Mental Health Day is marked annually on October 10, and is aimed at raising public awareness about mental health cases, and promoting more open discussions on mental disorders and investment in prevention and treatment services.